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Torun CYOA

Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by jackelgull, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    UPDATE 0: In which we set things up


    Preliminary questions:

    1). Which avatar do you choose to represent the protagonist in the cyoa - the male warrior or the female warrior
    2) Which career would you like to embark on - mercenary or adventurer?


    Disclaimer: Before I begin this I want to emphasize that alot of things in this game will be based on gm fiat, and I will endeavour to have as few hard stats as possible. This is because this is a writing exercise partially and a way to dip my toes into the running of my own game. I want to give myself and you a chance to sniff around the dirt of my story plans before pissing all over it :).


    So what do these career choices mean?


    Mercenary allows you to participate in the story of the world, or princes struggling for power, of a people rebelling for their freedom. The idea is basic. You can hire troops between every campaign and they have a quality stat. This is not so much a hard stat as a useful guideline for me to determine how much impact your forces have on the battlefield. An elite squadron can have more impact than a large barely trained rabble. As the campaign progresses, you will be drawn deeper into the conflict and establish relationships with the key players on your side. Who knows, you might even be sad when they lose?

    As a mercenary you start out with a small force of 10 village boys you hired out of the nearest village. Undisciplined, untrained, they might not look like much now, but as they survive campaigns and buy equipment, they could be the head of a force whose thunderous hooves signal the changing of the world. You will also be given a list of available work. In the beginning you might have to start out small in scale, with jobs like clearing brigand encampments. don't be worried, this is not intended to turn into a grind fest.

    Adventurer doesn’t place you in a position to affect the landscape as much as mercenary does, but it can lead to potentially more interesting side stories involving supernatural and fantasy elements. As an adventurer, you have DnD-like stats charisma, strength, will. To start, you get to put one point one stat. This gives you a +1 to a roll with that stat. I may occasionally require a roll a D20, and success or failure will affect how the story goes. In extreme cases, you might even die.


    Complete list of stats:

    Strength

    Agility

    Intelligence

    Charisma


    If you choose the adventurer path, choose one stat to raise



    Some setting:

    On the continent of Torun a monk writes, “It used to be that I thought that the wars that ravaged this continent were a natural thing, as the moon follows the sun, as rain pours from the heavens, as wheat grows from the earth, but when I visited other continents I learned this was not so - other continents had periods of peace, had no magical wonders or horrors, but in Torun, there is not one patch of land unmarred by blood, not one village that has not had a boy who was drawn away by some sound in night and never came back. Dark things stalk this continent, eldritch horrors that speak to the horror in men’s hearts, and create this unending age of war. Tell me, what peace can there be as long as our poets sing, “When we are at peace, we are idle”?”


    Torun is a mercenary and adventurer’s dream. There are always lords looking for extra hands, and top talent, while the land is not short of desperate villagers willing to shell over all they have for help.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  2. SouthernKing

    SouthernKing crickety cricket

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    1. Female warrior
    2. adventurer (charisma)
     
  3. Omega124

    Omega124 Challenging Fate

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    These are my votes too
     
  4. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

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    Female, Mercenary.
     
  5. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    Since as of right now, it seems there won't be any more votes, I'll be closing the voting and start working on the update.
     
  6. KaiserElectric

    KaiserElectric Total Freakin Besties

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    I also vote for female adventurer, bit too late but hey. :D
     
  7. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    UPDATE 1: The adventure begins

    Your name is Zhaliya. You were born during a thunderstorm, and to this your parents attribute all the odd things about you. Your eyes have always been on the horizon, a feeling that whatever your purpose is, it is out there, over the seas and on the imposing figure of Torun that juts out from the distance like a looming shadow over the ocean.

    Your dad tries reading exciting stories from the Book of Prophets in hopes you’ll join the Sister of Salvation while your mother frets over your looks and hopes you’ll find a good man to raise children with. Your parents, god bless them, don’t understand, but that hasn’t stopped them from loving you.

    In your village you emerge as a leaders of sorts among some of the children. Every few days, you and a few other kids would go on “exploration” expeditions into the surrounding caves by the sea shore or into the forest, and your fearlessness leads your group to follow behind you, convinced there is nothing you cannot handle. And they are so far right. Sure Attuyas fell in a pit once, and Kanesh almost got eaten by a wolf, but you had enough foresight to bring rope and the wolf was driven off with a few well aimed rocks. Attuyas told you after the whole ordeal that’ he’d march into Hell with you cause he was sure you’d come up with some way to kill the Devil to make sure he got back. Some of the other boys resent you for this, especially the older boys, but your natural charisma makes you a hard target for them to attack.

    It is in these trips you realize the reason you were born was to explore and make known every dark corner of the earth, and that included Torun the darkest of dark corners. And so you do odd jobs for the village ladies for the occasional coin and the few traders that come to your village are all too happy to pay a few coppers

    It is not until you are sixteen though that the pull of the continent becomes too strong. You decide to sneak away in the middle of night, so as not to let your parents stop you. You have not spoken much of your plans to them, but you know they are heavily against you going to the dark continent. However, your father awakens that night, some instinct deep in bones warning him that he’s going to lose his daughter. He’d probably call it God.

    You two just stare at each other for a moment, before you say, “Dad, I’m sorry but…” ready to storm out of there over a storm of protest.

    Instead your dad raises his hand, “I know I can’t stop you, but can you at least save it until tomorrow so you’re mother can say goodbye?”

    Breakfast that morning was heavy. My father had broken the news to my mother and she spent the entire meal crying messily. My father simply looked down at his food listlessly, occaisonally eating some egg before looking up to stare at me balefully.

    After the meal was over, my dad said, “Wait here, I have something to give you”. He walked over to the bookshelf and took out an old book whose pages were already starting to fall out from its spine. On the front were faded golden letters - The Book of Prophets.

    “This was my first holy book, the one I took with me when I went on missionary trip many years ago. This book has served me well over the years, may it do the same for you. On Torun you will know hard times. Do not lose your faith. When all hope is lost, that is when prayer has dominion”, he said gruffly

    [receive Book of Prophets, intelligence +1]

    Your mother is less reserved - she envelops you in a bone crushing hug and says, “My wild child, I have always wanted an easier and more comfortable life for you, but that has never been what you wanted has it?” she loosens her grip a little bit then continues hoarsely, “Know this - no matter what road life takes you, this is your home. Feel free to come back anytime.”

    In that moment you almost relent, the pull of home and family is strong in your mother’s warm arms, but the call to adventure is something that has seeped into your blood.

    You end up travelling alone to the port city of Gilguz. Your father is the local parish priest and can’t just afford to drop everything and spend a few weeks travelling with you, while your mother wouldn’t offer much protection on the road.

    You reach your ship on time. It is a double masted schooner that has obviously seen better days - the wood is rotting off, barnacles cling to the side and the mermaid on the bow looks more like an old man at this point. You take that as a good sign.

    As your ship pulls out to sea, you look back upon the harbor forlornly receding into the distance, the shifting blues and greens of the ocean and the sunlight glinting off the water, and you know this will always be you at 16. In the same way the hero Aes trapped his lover Amignon in the realm of the dead when he looked back, you have trapped your sixteen old self in this image. It’s a scary thought, that there is something as complicated and intimate as yourself out there to be distorted through the prism of human memory, but there is nothing you can do about it.

    You have a roommate, as it turns out; a fair haired lanky boy with a wide honest face and an easy grin.

    “Hello sugar, Dorzick at your service,” he drawled in a flirty manner. Normally, you would bristle at this tone, but this boy doesn’t sound disrespectful. His tone doesn’t contain any assumptions about her willingness to sleep together with him because they’re a man and woman sharing a room, nor does it expect her to indulge him. It is an invitation. You decide to take it.

    You raises an eyebrow, “Given our surroundings, I think you should be using salt instead of sugar.”

    “Salt is hardly desirable enough to compare to you.”

    “And yet, in some areas of the world salt is more precious than gold.”

    “I concede defeat my lady. It seems I came into this battle of words unprepared and outmatched. May I have the pleasure of knowing your name?”

    “Zhaliya Moon”

    “A beautiful name for a beautiful lady. So what brings you to the dark continent? Mercenary perhaps, to slay men with a blade as sharp as your wit?”

    “No” you say, shaking your head, “it is my dream to explore the dark corners of the continent with their mysteries and secrets. I am an adventurer. And you?”

    “Same here, although my parents were diametrically opposed to me leaving. I was almost afraid they were going to disown me when I told them what I planned to do.”

    My curiosity piqued, I asked, “Why? I know it’s a dangerous job, but…”

    The boy looked up his eyes downcast in sadness. “My brother left to be an adventurer many years ago and vanished from the face f the earth. His last job he was investigating strange goings in a small village. According to the villagers, one night they heard a strange noise and my brother left to go into the woods as if following it, then never came back.”

    “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to open up an old wound for you.”

    “No, no, it’s fine. It hurts less to be somewhat open with my pain then to bury it inside.”

    Over the course of the voyage, the two of you swap stories and tell each other your escapades. Dorzick seems particularly impressed about the time you faced a wolf.

    Then one night, when you lie awake in bed, contemplating your new life, you hear a loud noise on deck. It sounds a lot like the clashing of swords. Quick as a flash, you have your weapon, a wooden staff, in your hand and make your way to the door. Dorzick is not far behind you, falchion in sheathe with his crossbow out. You feel safer with him watching your back.

    As you get closer to the weather deck, you can hear the captain of the ship shouting “To arms laddies, we’re under attack!”

    The first thing you notice when you arrive on the scene is chaos. Lightly armored men, or unarmored men fight other unarmored or lightly armored men, and you have a hard time telling who is who. Next to your ship is a large galleon with a black flag flying over it, emblemed with a skull and crossbones. There is plank connecting the two ships, and men from the pirate ship are crawling all over it. You have a sinking feeling that this isn’t going to end well for your ship, and a panic almost overcomes you.

    Calm down, you think to yourself, remember what your dad taught you. The moment you stop think you are dead. What’s the first priority here? What must absolutely need to get done now? Well, the reinforcements from the bridge are certainly the biggest problem. If we can stop those, I think we have a shot.

    “Dorzick, do you have the oil you use to set your arrows on fire with you?”

    “Never leave without it, why?”

    “I want you to ready a fire arrow. I’ll get closer to the bridge and pour the oil all over it, and on my command, I want you to hit the bridge. If we can burn that bridge, then we can stop the flow of reinforcements and win this thing.”

    Dorzick nods in affirmation and hands me his store of flammable oil.

    “You know this is a crazy idea, right?”

    “Mmmhmmm”

    “Good luck sugar, i’ve got your back.”

    You approach the plank smacking the knee caps of any pirate that stands in your way, while other pirates get acquainted with the business end of one of Dorzick’s crossbow bolts. When you arrive you pour the oil liberally wherever you can find space, but there are so many pirates on the bridge you’re certain some of them have been doused in oil too. Oh well, you think, they can just jump into the ocean.

    “Dorzick” you shout, and the entire battlefield quiets.

    The pirate captain, noticing what you’ve done orders, “Kill the crossbowman”.

    Dorzick shoots his flaming bolt while retorting, “Sorry, I only like to die ironically!”

    The bridge goes up in flames, and a lot of pirates burn. Many throw themselves into the ocean. The rest of the pirates trapped on the ship with no oncoming reinforcements, surrender.

    The crew throws an impromptu celebration, with you as the guest of honor, but you’re more worried about Dorzick. He did not look well after the battle, and no one has seen him since then.

    You slip away from the festivities early to go to room. There you find Dorzick, weeping his eyes out.

    “Umm...hey are you ok?” you ask awkwardly, wondering if you’re overstepping the bounds of your familiarity with one another by seeing him in this vulnerable state.

    “I was so scared” he admits, “I was so scared we were going to die, that I was going to miss the bridge, and then we’d die.”

    “It’s not wrong to be afraid”, you say, “But look on the bright side, you didn’t miss, and we didn’t die”.

    “What about next time? Or the time after that? I knew being an adventurer would be dangerous, but this battle makes me wonder if I can really handle it. Maybe I’m just too weak for this.”

    “I can’t tell you whether or not to retire, that’s your decision, but if you retire because you think you’re unsuited, well, that’s a lame excuse. It’s fundamentally untrue. The fact that you made that shot despite your fear makes you more suited than most people.”

    “Anyone could have done it” he protested weakly.

    “Maybe, but it was you who made that shot. And let me tell you something - if our situations were reversed, and I had to make that shot, I think I wouldn’t be able to do it. So take pride in that at least.”

    “Thanks” he said, giving you a wide smile, as bright as the sun.

    The rest of the voyage passes without incident, and soon the ship begins to pull into the harbor of the City.

    You’ve spent your entire life reading about the City, and nothing you’ve read about it does it justice. There are two ways to describe the city. You can start by mentioning the city was founded several thousands of years ago by inhabitants of another city fleeing from its destruction before landing on these shores, talk about how it became the center of an empire, mention the volume of trade, or the various palace coups, hangings and riots that color this city's history. Or, you can say this - many peasants and foreigners enter this city wearing rags and leave in silk. A great number of famous and great adventurers began their careers here. This city is a place where will becomes reality. Even the very existence of this city was an act of willpower - some of the land this city is built on used to be a bay that was filled in, while other land had to be cleared of solid oak trees in countless hours of backbreaking labor. The corners of the buildings of this city are sharp, as if resisting melting into more pleasing rounded curves, and the streets are narrow making the very act of navigating this city a test of will.

    On the docks are a multitude of beggars. One of them, an old man in a threadbare cloak, approaches you.

    “Penny for a beggar?” he asks.

    “I would like to, but I don’t have money to spare” I say.

    “Not even if I can lead you to the adventurer’s guild hall?”

    You turn to look at Dorzick, “There’s an Adventurer’s Guildhall?”

    “Where did you think adventurer’s found jobs? Not all jobs go there, but a lot of villages will opt to send requests here. It helps alot of newcomers to the profession get started.”

    “Do you want to follow him?”

    “I don’t know, he could be a part of a gang that leads newcomers to an alley then ambushes them,” Dorzick whispers.

    “True, but I doubt it, that’s a dangerous job, he would be the first to get hurt in the fight and he’s obviously old and weak and in no shape to fight,” I whisper back.

    Dorzick sighs, “Appearances can be deceiving, but we do need someone to guide the way.”

    He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a copper coin, handing it to the old man. He quietly leads us through twisting streets to a sturdy wooden building with a crooked sign that said “Adventurer’s Guild”.

    “Well here you are”, he says turning around to face us. His face is now that of a young man, around our age, if not a little younger.

    You blink, and he’s vanished.

    “He was an old man at the docks, right?”

    “Yep.”

    “And he was a young man just now, right?”

    “Yep.”

    “Did we go crazy?”

    “This is Torun, I think we have to take these things in stride. Come on, let’s go inside.”

    There were a few adventurers at the guild today, most of them clustered around a board with papers pinned to it that you assume is the jobs board, while a group of five or six sit around a table drinking lots of beer from the tavern in the guild hall.

    The guild master welcomes us, “Hello, I see that Kratos brought you, welcome to the Adventurer’s guild, how may I help you?”

    “What was that thing? One moment he looked like an old man, the next he looked like a young man.”

    “Kratos? No one really knows. He’s been bringing promising adventurer’s to the guild hall ever since it was created. Torun is an old continent full of old things. My guess is that he’s an old dark force that became forgotten. Either way, the fact that he personally lead you here is a good sign. So can I help you?”

    “Do you have any jobs suitable for new adventurers like us?” you ask.

    “Of course”, the guild master says, “you can work on”

    Quest 1: An old lady has lost her cat Lec. Help find him

    Reward: 100 gold

    Quest 2: An evil sorcerer has transformed a woman into a man. Help her find him and reverse the spell.

    Reward: Unknown

    Quest 3: A villager has been mysteriously murdered. Find out the killer and stop them

    Reward: Unknown


    Also

    Do you want Dorzick to be a part of your party?

    1. I think Dorzick is a good character and I want to see more of him

    2. I wouldn’t mind the occasional team up or appearance but I’d rather not have him permanently in the story

    3. Hell no

    4. I have no strong opinion one way or another
    You have 48 hours to vote
     
  8. Omega124

    Omega124 Challenging Fate

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    Quest 2.

    Option 2 for Dorzick
     
  9. KaiserElectric

    KaiserElectric Total Freakin Besties

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    I vote for Quest 1 and Option 2.

    (Save meeeeee)
     
  10. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    Orders lock in 12 hours
     
  11. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    Orders lock in 6 hours
     
  12. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

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    Option 2.
     
  13. christos200

    christos200 Never tell me the odds

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    Option 1
     
  14. SouthernKing

    SouthernKing crickety cricket

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  15. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    Voting closed
     

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