The Horizon Campaign (19)

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Link to the Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine RPG, on DriveThru

Link to Fortitude: the Glass-Maker’s Dragon, on DriveThru

Let’s talk some more about the Horizon campaign(s)!

Previously,

Today, let’s do the fourth!

       

Quest 4

The fourth quest, working title “Let’s Recover in a Shadow World Spa,” is Otherworldly 4, Aspect 1, Emptiness 1, and Mystic 2.

  • Rinley’s lost a key part of their sense of self. … and discovers that it wasn’t really gone.
  • They’re stuck. Frozen. … and find a way past it.
  • They live with their fate. … and then make a change. Or …
  • They’re courted/tempted by an “opposite number” … and then their “own side” (notionally, the Principle of the Near Outside) betrays them.

 

In the stories,

  • Rinley follows the track of what was taken from them deep into the grey malaise, and finds themselves there.
  • Or, they work on recovery from the initial Entropy I impact, and possibly on helping the past deal with what’s coming?
  • Or, more work on dealing with Owler, while fighting off possession.
  • Or, one can also ask, how would Ouroboros House continue if it went this far? And we’ve already sort of established that that’s working through things with a therapist ogre.

 

What Is This Quest, Then?

This is a still place, that gives rise to motion. In that still place, they’re dealing with an enemy, of sorts, who is also a friend, of sorts. At the end, they’re betrayed, but also move forward.

… well, maybe.

I mean, it isn’t necessary that it obey the Mystic 2 paradigm when it’s an Otherworldly 4 quest, or vice versa. But that’s the basic idea.

 

Bullet Point Brainstorming

  • You struggle with feelings of futility
  • An enemy proves to be a friend
  • You’re lost in darkness
  • You talk about the past
  • You talk about why things had to be the way they were
  • You find strands of hope in dark places
  • You realize something about yourself
  • You force someone to face a shattering truth
  • You shake off a crippling influence
  • You travel labyrinths
  • You avoid the soldiers of evil
  • You’re open
  • You tell a parable to a spirit
  • You explain something about shrine magic
  • You explain what you see in the Outside, or your Principle
  • You try to keep up grades and other such things while a lot is going on
  • You have trouble dealing with this person
  • You feel a lot of empathy for someone that you probably shouldn’t
  • You record what’s going on in a diary, notebook, or journal
  • The future seeps into the past or the other way around

 

Notes on What I Was Thinking With These …

  • You struggle with feelings of futility
    • I’m trying to find phrases that can apply both to standard therapy events and to the storylines above. “You struggle with a grey malaise” seemed too on the nose.
  • An enemy proves to be a friend
    • I’m trying to capture that Mystic 2 feel here. This is technically backwards, since Mystic 2 is about an alluring actual enemy and being betrayed by your metaphysical friends, but I usually find that a backwards approach is helpful in gaming because players and stories often have inverted motives. I’m expecting this bullet point to be a 5 XP major goal.
  • You’re lost in darkness
    • I wasn’t entirely happy with “feelings of futility” as a description of the grey malaise.
  • You talk about the past
    • Here, I’m trying to connect therapy to the time travel plot … but this also seems like something that can explain how you work things out with Owler enough to get him out of your PC and so on.
  • You talk about why things had to be the way they were
    • This is a second try at the same idea as the previous bullet point, because I felt like maybe “talk about the past” wasn’t quite on point enough for persuading Entropy I to let go of existing.
  • You find strands of hope in dark places
    • This one mostly comes from the quest type (Aspect 1, etc.) and from the need for the Grey Malaise plot to go somewhere decent. But, it’s an acceptable connection to therapy, I guess?
  • You realize something about yourself
    • I’m not really sure Rinley is the one who needs to realize something about themselves in any of the non-therapy stories but I wanted this one on the list. Instinct, I guess?
  • You force someone to face a shattering truth
    • This one is a little more on point than the last, but also a lot harder to have happen. Probably a 5 XP major goal.
  • You shake off a crippling influence
    • At last, here’s the union of the active stories and the therapy story. ^_^
    • … which, for clarity, is absolutely relevant. The therapy ogre bit is not officially a thing that happens, but it also isn’t exactly super-unlikely in a Horizon game with Rinley in it. The first Arc running to quest 4, or switching to Aspect/Emptiness/Mystic? Not common, but not so rare that it’s worth ignoring if I’m going to create the campaign in the first place!
  • You travel labyrinths
    • Here, I want to bring out more of what traveling the grey malaise is actually like, and this phrasing has the advantage of also referring to stuff at School. It doesn’t really connect much to therapy, but whatever. There’s a thin metaphorical connection, at least!
  • You avoid the soldiers of evil
    • I don’t really feel like using the word “evil” today but I couldn’t think of something better in a hurry, and brainstorming is not about taking it slow. ^_^ Anyway, this is on the same principle as the bullet point above.
  • You’re open
    • This one is probably phrased in too simple a fashion, but who knows; I don’t always know early on what I’ll feel the need to edit later. This bullet point is heavily focused on the therapy version, anyway.
  • You tell a parable to a spirit
    • I didn’t feel like “you talk about the past” was enough talking for this quest, although I have the suspicion that talking bullet points will wind up combining into one or so bullets anyway in a quest that starts with this many.
    • Anyway, this is “a spirit” here because I was thinking about what Rinley would be talking to in the grey malaise and my mental image seemed to be a vaguely-sketched sprite of some kind in the air. Recorded for later rediscovery!
  • You explain something about shrine magic
    • This one is more “let’s add some talking,” plus also tying the quest in to the Mystic/Principle thing, plus, finally, grounding the quest more in who this Rinley is supposed to be.
  • You explain what you see in the Outside, or your Principle
    • This is me reaching for a better way to connect this quest to Rinley’s Principle in a Mystic Arc. It will probably need tweaking if it survives since three Arcs of Rinleys won’t have a Principle. Well, I mean, they might have Principles, but…
  • You try to keep up grades and other such things while a lot is going on
    • This really doesn’t work well in The Lightless Crown—I tried to fix that with “other such things,” to include, like, attending to sleep and hygiene and food and such while traveling, but it’s not a good phrasing really. It doesn’t work well in that storyline. Otherwise, though, it’s solid, I think!
  • You have trouble dealing with this person
    • This, on the other hand, is the opposite: a really well-phrased bullet point IMO that isn’t 100% relevant to what’s going on. ^_^
  • You feel a lot of empathy for someone that you probably shouldn’t
    • This one is another attempt at building a connection with your opposite number in Mystic Arcs. Mostly.
  • You record what’s going on in a diary, notebook, or journal
    • I didn’t want the newspaper stuff to completely fall out of The Grey Internship after the first quest, and this seemed like a nice way of putting it back in while also adding value to the quest in general.
  • The future seeps into the past or the other way around
    • This is another time-slide thing that seemed like it might work well in the non-time-slide Rinley stories.

 

Colors

Here’s my first take on the colors for these, complete with some reorganization to bring similar colors together as much as I could!

     

  • (MAJOR GOAL) An enemy proves to be a friend
  • (MAJOR GOAL) You force someone to face a shattering truth
  • (MAJOR GOAL) You shake off a crippling influence

       

  • (BLUE/MOON) You feel a lot of empathy for someone that you probably shouldn’t
  • (SWORD/MOON) You struggle with feelings of futility
  • (SWORD/MOON) You avoid the soldiers of evil
  • (RED/MOON) You’re lost in darkness
  • (RED/MOON) The future seeps into the past or the other way around
  • (RED) You have trouble dealing with this person
  • (CROOK/MOON) You talk about the past
  • (CROOK/MOON) You tell a parable to a spirit
  • (STAR/MOON) You find strands of hope in dark places
  • (GREEN/MOON) You travel labyrinths
  • (GREEN/CROOK) You try to keep up grades and other such things while a lot is going on
  • (RED/CROOK) You’re open
  • (RED/CROOK) You explain something about shrine magic
  • (RED/CROOK) You record what’s going on in a diary, notebook, or journal
  • (BLUE/CROOK) You talk about why things had to be the way they were
  • (BLUE/CROOK) You explain what you see in the Outside, or your Principle
  • (BLUE) You realize something about yourself

   

So, What Do We See?

A lot of the ones with similar colors are very differently described but very much thematically the same. They can probably be unified.

The Crook/Moon + Crook/Red + Red/Moon is annoying for the usual way I like to line things up, as is Crook/Blue + Blue/Moon + Crook/Moon. I’d like to drop one of those entirely.

       

Unifying Similar Colors/Themes

yields …

  • (BLUE/MOON) You feel a lot of empathy for someone that you probably shouldn’t
  • (SWORD/MOON) You struggle to find a safe or acceptable path forward
  • (RED/MOON) Times and places blur
  • (RED) You have trouble dealing with this person
  • (CROOK/MOON) You talk or tell a parable about the past
  • (STAR/MOON) You find strands of hope in dark places
  • (GREEN/MOON) You travel labyrinths
  • (GREEN/CROOK) You try to keep up grades and other such things while a lot is going on
  • (RED/CROOK) You explain something about shrine magic
  • (RED/CROOK) You record what’s going on in a diary, notebook, or journal
  • (BLUE/CROOK) You explain your understanding of something in the world
  • (BLUE) You realize something about yourself

 

Some New Insights Emerge!

We can now drop “You travel labyrinths;” it’s clearly redundant.

I think “you talk or tell a parable about the past” can be folded into “times and places blur.”

Let’s … move the empathy into the 5-XP options, and change it from “a lot” to “a spike.” I think it’s close enough to “an enemy proves to be a friend” that we can either merge them or have this be that rare unicorn, the 35-XP quest where you can earn three out of four 5-XP bonuses.

Explaining something about shrine magic now looks pretty redundant, to me too.

Let’s move “You have trouble dealing with this person” to the simplified quest, as a kind of strange inverted parallel to “You realize something about yourself.”

… wait, no, the other way around, big constant self-realizations are definitely accelerated therapy. ^_^

And that gives us:

 

Major Goals:

The HG can award you 5 XP towards this quest when:

  • An enemy proves to be a friend;
  • You force someone to face a shattering truth;
  • You shake off a crippling influence;
  • You feel a spike of empathy for someone you definitely shouldn’t.

You can earn up to three of these bonuses, once each, for a total of up to 15 XP.

 

Quest Flavor

1/chapter, you can earn a bonus XP towards this quest when:

  • (SWORD/MOON) You struggle to find a safe or acceptable path forward
  • (STAR/MOON) You find strands of hope in dark places
  • (RED/MOON) Times and places blur
  • (RED) You have trouble dealing with this person
  • (RED/CROOK) You record what’s going on in a diary, notebook, or journal
  • (GREEN/CROOK) You try to keep up grades and other such things while a lot is going on
  • (BLUE/CROOK) You explain your understanding of something in the world

You can combine this with an XP action, but you’re not required to.

     

Quest Color

This one seems grey, I think. I think it would be a “here’s what you say while living through this interregnum” if it were an any-time quest.

 

Quest Name

And for a formal name, um …

Hm. We had Roughing It, Troubled Legacies, and The Sacrifice. So now …

Investigation.

Or, Through Night and Secrets.

To Hunt The Truth. Deep-Buried Secrets. The Delve.

… I like Through Night and Secrets best, though it all may change once I name the whole Arc.

What I really like is “Through Night and Secret,” but I can’t find a way to justify that grammar.

Wait, no, In Murky Night.

The Murky Depths.

In Murky Night.

But no quest card yet; wait until the end. ^_^

 

The Simplified Version

Let’s do some inversions!

Time-inverting the quest options for the regular quest suggests the following quest options for the simplified version:

  • (GREEN/STAR) You’re overcome by something; defeated
  • (MOON/STAR) You find strands of hope in dark places
  • (BLUE/STAR) You call up(on) something from another time or place
  • (BLUE) You realize something important about yourself
  • (BLUE/FLAME) You struggle to understand what’s going on
  • (SWORD/FLAME) Your life is falling apart
  • (RED/FLAME) You’re shown the flaws in your understanding of the world

 

… dang, that’s dark.

   

Trimming It Down

(1) I feel like the ordinary life stuff is less important in the simplified quest, and can merge with “you’re overcome by something.”

So we can drop “Your life is falling apart.”

(2) Realizing something important about yourself is redundant with “You struggle to understand what’s going on,” I guess, because … well, one way to play out that Action is ending in successful understanding?

I don’t like that phrasing, actually. Maybe … “you struggle to formulate a theory about what’s going on?”

Regardless, we can drop the realization about yourself.

(3) I don’t think I actually like just porting the finding strands of hope in dark places, but I don’t know how to change it, so let’s drop that too.

This leaves us with four 1-XP quest options:

  • (GREEN/STAR) You’re overcome by something; defeated
  • (BLUE/STAR) You call up(on) something from another time or place
  • (BLUE/FLAME) You struggle to formulate a theory about what’s going on
  • (RED/FLAME) You’re shown the flaws in your understanding of the world

 

Hm.

The simplified versions of the 5-XP options are probably …

Well, we can definitely drop the spike of empathy now, or combine it with an enemy proving to be a friend.

I think when you speed up the quest, freeing yourself of a crippling influence gets replaced by suffering one … which is already covered in the 1-XP options.

That should get us there …

     

But Writing Is a Demanding Monarch

… I kind of want to put the strands of hope thing back in as a 5-XP option.

That makes this a 25-XP quest, which means it needs one more of the 1-XP options back.

Hmm.

     

Aha!

This quest is where the spike of empathy goes, color-inverted from where it had been. ^_^

So now we have our simplified quest:

 

In Murky Night (Simplified)

Major Goals:

The HG can award you 5 XP towards this quest when:

  • You form a surprising friendship or allegiance;
  • You force someone to face a shattering truth;
  • You find strands of hope in a dark place.

You can earn up to two of these bonuses, once each, for a total of up to 10 XP.

 

Quest Flavor

1/chapter, you can earn a bonus XP towards this quest when:

  • (GREEN/STAR) You’re overcome by something; defeated
  • (BLUE/STAR) You call up(on) something from another time or place
  • (BLUE/FLAME) You struggle to formulate a theory about what’s going on
  • (RED/FLAME) You’re shown the flaws in your understanding of the world
  • (RED/STAR) You feel a spike of empathy for someone that you probably shouldn’t

You can combine this with an XP Action, but you’re not required to.

 

This seems … gold.

  in murky night - simplified

And the final un-simplified quest:

 

In Murky Night

Major Goals:

The HG can award you 5 XP towards this quest when:

  • An enemy proves to be a friend;
  • You force someone to face a shattering truth;
  • You shake off a crippling influence.

You can earn each bonus once, for a total of up to 15 XP.

     

Quest Flavor

1/chapter, you can earn a bonus XP towards this quest when:

  • (SWORD/MOON) You struggle to find a safe or acceptable path forward
  • (STAR/MOON) You find strands of hope in dark places
  • (RED/MOON) Times and places blur
  • (RED) You have trouble dealing with this person
  • (RED/CROOK) You record what’s going on in a diary, notebook, or journal
  • (GREEN/CROOK) You try to keep up grades and other such things while a lot is going on
  • (BLUE/CROOK) You explain your understanding of something in the world

You can combine this with an XP action, but you’re not required to.

  in murky night - update

   

And that’s quest 4!

I hope to update the post aesthetics here soon if tumblr continues to be weird about letting this through.

 

 

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