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Author Topic: Heavy Metal Album Cover Evil  (Read 3316 times)
Lex
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« on: July 12, 2012, 08:52:30 PM »

Heavy Metal Album Cover Evil (HMACE, pronounced HMACE) is Black-Bladed Broadswords with Demon Motif, Chrome Skull Shoulder-Plates with Ruby Eyes, Sallow-Skinned Necromancers in Ragged Robes. HMACE commands armies of demons, hordes of the undead, and legions of black-armored soldiers, human and otherwise. HMACE rides skeletal dragons or flaming-hooved black horses -- not just into battle, but around town and to the store. HMACE lays siege to the castles of Holy Paladins, plots against the Rightful Heir, and sacrifices Elf Princesses to obtain Dark Favor and Eternal Power.

The Lands of Occident are filled with more prosaic and conventional evils -- wars for land and power, wars of religion, predation of the peasantry by an entrenched aristocracy, genocide and conquest masquerading as Holy Crusade, Orthodoxy enforced on pain of Auto Da Fe, under jurisdiction of the Holy Inquisition, Ad Extirpanda.

HMACE clearly needs to remind the Lands of Occident what evil really looks like ... and you're just the ones to do it. You're not HMACE yet, but you're definitely HMACE Material... you need only earn your Chrome Skull Shoulder-Plates, build your nefarious power-base, raise your fell army, and then cover the land with Darkness.

Heavy Metal Album Cover Evil is somewhere between "Vampire: The Dark Ages" and Tolkien/Gygax fantasy turned on its head. The PCs are those hunted by the Forces of Light, in an "Epic Battle Between Light and Darkness" that turns out to be awash in moral gray ... ambition and intolerance drive the swords of Crusaders and fuel the witch-pyres of Inquisitors. The heretics, monsters, outcasts, and witches have but one chance to survive these Burning Times: band together in the shadows, and conspire to topple those powers who would relentlessly hunt them down, tie them to a stake, and burn them alive. It could feature any of the following, depending on character choices and demonstrated player preference: role-playing, roll-playing, intrigue, subterfuge, combat, betrayal, secret bargains, assassination, GURPS Mass Combat, sandboxing, dungeon crawling, politics, or defenestration.

PCs are aspiring Evil Overlords -- the key word being aspiring; the Forces of Light are far too strong to be fought head-on. Cunning PCs will amass power quietly and strike from the shadows, retreating into the darkness once their nefarious plans are fulfilled, only to scheme for their next sinister offensive. Foolish PCs will end up dead on the swords of Holy Paladins, or screaming out confessions before the tender ministrations of the Inquisition.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 01:51:47 PM by Lex » Logged
Lex
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2012, 09:02:03 PM »

On the eastern marches of the Lands of Occident, in the frosty shadows of the Carpathians that separate the Holy Empire from the Forbidden Lands of the East, lies the benighted Land of Nod. The pagan populace hasn't taken well to the rise of the Holy Church, and as missionary after missionary was rejected (often in gruesome fashion) by the natives, His Divine Radiance of the Holy Church declared a Crusade to bring the land into the Light.

So arose the Knights of Thule, a militant order of holy paladins, who swept the infidel land like a scourge. Leading armies of zealous crusaders from across the Empire (bolstered by mercenaries when turnout was low), the Knights crushed the defending armies; His Divine Radiance proclaimed them the lords of a new Crusader State.

St. Eradius' Hold, the Knights' primary base in the area, was built around and atop an older castle -- Maldovia, the ancestral castle of the House of Maldov. The armies under the command of Maldov were ruthlessly effective in their defense of their ancestral lands, rumored to be favored and protected by the powers of Darkness ... It is said that the Lords of Maldov practiced dark and mighty sorceries, fueled by an ancient artifact of great evil, hidden beneath their castle. When the Thulean Knights finally took the fortress, after months of bloody siege, they brought in Clerics of the Holy Church and Magi of the Sacred Mysteries to bind the artifact; the Knights then built St. Eradius' Hold on the castle ruins, so that they could ensure that no one ever freed the evil beneath.

But the Forces of Darkness (i.e. the PCs) conspire to do just that. If you can raise an army and penetrate the Knights' stronghold, you may be able to find and claim the source of the Maldovs' power, before the Forces of Light can rally to aid the Knights. You must plan carefully and strike quickly -- a long siege or lingering presence in the castle will unquestionably draw reinforcements from across the Holy Empire.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 11:04:44 AM by Lex » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2012, 09:18:16 AM »

I find your ideas very appealing, and would like to receive your publication.
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2012, 11:00:44 AM »

Awesome. Time to break out the ol' Manowar and Cauldron Born albums! Grin
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Lex
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2012, 08:42:27 AM »

I find your ideas very appealing, and would like to receive your publication.

Just sign right here on the dotted line ... in blood, of course. And don't mind the fine print.

Awesome. Time to break out the ol' Manowar and Cauldron Born albums! Grin

Wweedleey-weedleey-WEEEEEE!!!
(*Minor-key guitar flourish*)

You're welcome to join in, if you're interested.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 10:45:03 AM by Lex » Logged
Lex
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2012, 09:43:25 AM »

Adversaries

The Knights of Thule are safely fortified within St. Eradius' Hold, lead by the brave and virtuous Lord Sigmund, Paladin of the Holy Light, and his Castellan and favored lieutenant, Sir Vassily. The castle houses easily a score or more holy knights, along with a sizeable standing force of infantry and cavalry, necessary support and auxiliaries for such a force, and stores large enough to weather a lengthy siege or uprising.

The Archbishop of Victorgrad is the highest ecclesiastic authority in the region, and commands an army of his own, at least as large as the castle's garrison. While it would take several days to mobilize this army, and several more for them to arrive at St. Eradius' Hold, they would be the first reinforcements that the Knights could expect in the event of an attack.

High Inquisitor Dominic of the Order of Judges leads a coterie of Holy Inquisitors, based in Victorgrad but active throughout the region, in ferreting out heresy and dissent. Although they have no military force, they are perhaps the greatest threat to the Forces of Darkness -- cunning and tireless in the execution of their Mission, with the organizational strength and agility to hunt down Evil where it hides and drag it into the Light.


Possible Assets

The Mines of Ang, once a dwarven mine/fortress in the nearby mountains, is now inhabited by warring tribes of goblins, orcs, and worse. Not only would this fortified complex make an ideal base of operations, but if the current inhabitants could be recruited, they could form the backbone of a siege force. Rumor has it that a dragon also lairs somewhere in the dungeons ... and while a dragon's hoard would go a long way to equipping an army, you would look awesome riding a dragon into battle.

Bloodvale Meadow, so named for the annual bloom of a native flower that turns the valley deep red in the spring, was the site of a decisive battle between the Knights of Thule and the forces of House Maldov. Fearing that the ancient magics used by Maldovian forces would cause them to rise from the grave and haunt the land, agents of the Holy Church placed wards around the battlefield to keep the restless dead from escaping. If those wards could be broken, and some means found to command the allegiance of the dead, these vengeful spirits could make a powerful addition to your forces.

Although neither the native nobility nor the peasantry is particularly happy with the Knights' rule, few are left who would rise against them after a generation of subjugation. Still, the Inquisition chases pagans and heretics in the towns and countryside -- pagans and heretics who might be convinced to rally to your banner, whether for strength in numbers or pure and simple revenge.

The remote town of Silvania has a reputation for having a "Witch Problem," and rumors hold that an ancient stone circle, somewhere in the Dark Forest that fringes the northern edge of the region, marks a site of primal power.

Likewise in the city of Victorgrad, largest urban center of the region, the Inquisition continually stokes its fires and scours the shadows for a conspiracy of diabolists.

Of the remaining noble bloodlines of the Land of Nod, the venerable House of Bathory is the most likely to be both sympathetic to your cause, and able to field a significant army. Since the conquest, they have withdrawn into their ancestral lands, high in the mountains, and are none-too-friendly to strangers from the West.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 06:39:14 PM by Lex » Logged
BorisBadinov
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 10:01:49 PM »

When are you planning on playing this?!

It sounds awesome.

-Robin
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Lex
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2012, 11:18:23 AM »

When are you planning on playing this?!

It sounds awesome.

Thanks! We're trying to figure out when (and what) we want to play, over in the Weeknight Games thread ... if you have any preferences for when/where/what games you'd like to participate in, you should stop in and join the conversation.
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Lex
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2012, 08:16:18 PM »

Our Villains have spent only a short time in the Mines of Ang, and have explored some unknown fraction of the full complex, but they've already extracted agreements from the various monster-tribe chiefs. Assuming that these agreements hold, they have the beginnings of an Army of Evil, though they still have no idea of the full number or abilities of their new minions.

Here's what they know so far about their new home:

The Mountain Door - Orcs of Urrlar Tribe
The fortified main entrance complex is inhabited by a tribe of orcs, the Urrlar, ruled by a two-headed ogre ("Gorgo and Mormo"), who have agreed to follow the party after a score of their number were effortlessly cut down. The tribe had a shaman, who was evidently scheming against Gorgo and Mormo's rule, but he died of natural causes (bleeding to death quite naturally after Fen the Berserker planted an axe in his chest). The party has seen only the fortified entryway, a series of caverns that serves as the orc commons, and the adjacent stairs down to the mines, but there are several passages leading from the orc commons that they haven't explored. Not counting the few dozen defenders they slaughtered on the way in, there are at least two-score orc warriors and an ogre in the caves.

The Mines - Lizard Men, Monster(s), and the Lurker in Darkness
Beneath the entry complex, the Mines are home to a tribe of lizard men, living in a series of tunnels off the main cavern, and the party has reached an uncharacteristicall y non-violent accord with them: they have agreed to peace, and hinted at willingness to cooperate with a campaign against the Knights of Thule, as long as the orcs and goblins are kept from attacking them. Some kind of tentacled being that the orcs call the "Lurker in Darkness," lurking (unsurprisingly) in the darkness at the top of the main cavern, snatches up the occasional screaming orc as they pass through. (No formal accord has yet been reached with the Lurker in Darkness.) There are unexplored branches and passages off the main cavern, including one that the party has been told leads outside; a side-cave near the exit smells like the lair of some large, predatory creature. They also haven't seen the extent of the lizard men's complex, but there's at least enough room for the dozen-or-so warriors, and the giant lizard that the chieftain rode.

The Foundry - Goblins of Garguk Tribe
Beyond the Mines, through more fortified and secret doors, the party has seen a large audience chamber or throne room, occupied by goblin guards and their warg pets/mounts. These goblins belong to the Garguk tribe, lead by a beastly-huge goblin called Korax. The old dwarven foundry is adjacent, currently in use by dismally-skilled goblin smiths to forge low-quality weapons, which they use themselves and trade with the orcs of Urrlar. After a suitable display of the party's power, Chief Korax has agreed to follow them. The party has seen the chieftain, a dozen-odd guards (who took about 60% casualties in the process of negotiations), a handful of smiths, and the presumed beast-master (who seemed to barely survive the same axe-in-the-chest affliction that took the orc shaman), along with several wargs; they've visited the audience chamber and the forge, and seen several other passages and doors leading out of those rooms.

Dragon?
Everyone agrees that there's a dragon somewhere, though the party has seen no direct evidence of this. Korax the goblin chief says it lives at the bottom of the crevasse at the south end of the Foundry.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 06:42:28 PM by Lex » Logged
Ryan Scott
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2012, 08:24:48 PM »

Well, here is a rough cut of my wizard.  Kelan Cirdan was in the vanguard if the first wave of proselytizers from the Church of Holy Light.  Kelan came to the lands of Occident to foment discontent amongst the population and attempt to get the population to rise against their blasphemous masters.  Kelan was an especially skilled rabble rouser, and powerful Magi of the Sacred Mysteries specializing in Mind and Air magic.  He was quite successful at his task and even had an uprising sweep him into power on an outlying manor where he deposed the local Liegeman. 

After settling into his new post, Kelan searched the manor and found a long hidden library filled with the collection of a powerful necromancer.  Being extremely curious, Kelan begain reading the tomes.  At first the voices were whispers... until they grew so loud there were all he could hear.  All thoughts of his original mission fled his mind as the voices showed him the only true path:  The path to power.  The lands of Occident were his destiny. 

Kelan studied the necromancers library for a year and then left to join the forces of Maldov.  A journal found amongst the tomes in the library had hinted that they possessed even greater skills of necromancy than what he had at his disposal.  Using his skill in persuasion and his new found powers he quickly integrated himself into the Maldovian power structure. 

When the Crusade was called by his former benefactors, Kelan couldn't help but smile.  Now was the time to use his ties to both sides to create a power vacuum.  Kelan became a double agent, feeding information that would bleed both sides, all while keeping them in stalemate.  Unfortunately,for Kelan, an inquisitor came upon him during a very loud discussion he was having with the voices in his head.  A full inquisition trial later, Kelan's charred remains stood in a guttering bonfire.

The only thing was, his soul was no longer in his body.  It was now hidden in the secret library at his old seat of power.  The voices counseled patience.  Now he was all theirs, there was some things they wanted to discuss.  All this changed when a newly appointed noble decided it was time he would do some renovations on his newly acquired manor house.  The first workman through the wall had no idea that this job would be his last.
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Ryan Scott
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2012, 08:26:51 PM »

Kelan Cerdan (300 points)
Age 43; Human; 5' 7"; 160;
ST 9 [-10]; DX 11 [20]; IQ 16 [100]; HT 12 [20].
Damage 1d-2/1d-1; BL 16 lbs.; HP 11 [4]; Will 15 [-5]; Per 13 [-15]; FP 15
[9].

Basic Speed 6 [5]; Basic Move 6 [0]; Block 6 (DX); Dodge 9; Parry 8 (DX).
Social Background
TL: 3 [0].
CF:

Languages: Celestial (Native) [6]; Common (Native) [0]; Dwarven
(Native) [6]; Elven (Native) [6].

Advantages
Appearance (Attractive) [4]; Charisma 2 [10]; Eidetic Memory [5];
Energy Reserve (Magical) 5 [15]; Extra IQ 1 (Affects IQ) [20]; Fit [5];
Magery 3 [30]; Magery 0 [5].
Perks: Honest Face; Penetrating Voice [2].

Disadvantages
Bloodlust (12 or less) [-10]; Callous [-5]; Jealousy [-10]; Megalomania [-
10]; Phantom Voices (Diabolical) [-15].
Quirks: Attentive; Careful; Code of Honor; Personality Change; Staid [-
5].

Skills
Alchemy/TL3-16 (IQ+0) [8]; Area Knowledge (local)-16 (IQ+0) [1];
Diplomacy-16 (IQ+0) [4]; Hazardous Materials/TL3 (Magical)-15 (IQ-1) [1];
Heraldry-15 (IQ-1) [1]; Hidden Lore (Magical Items Lore)-16 (IQ+0) [2];
Hidden Lore (Undead Lore)-16 (IQ+0) [2]; Intimidation-14 (Will-1) [1];
Leadership-18 (IQ+2) [2]; Meditation-14 (Will-1) [2]; Occultism-16 (IQ+0)
[2]; Public Speaking-17 (IQ+1) [1]; Research/TL3-15 (IQ-1) [1]; Riding
(Equines)-10 (DX-1) [1]; Ritual Magic (Necromancy)-13 (IQ-3) [1]; Savoir-
Faire (High Society)-16 (IQ+0) [1]; Speed-Reading-15 (IQ-1) [1]; Staff-14
(DX+3) [12]; Strategy (Land)-14 (IQ-2) [1]; Swimming-12 (HT+0) [1];
Tactics-15 (IQ-1) [2]; Thaumatology-18 (IQ+2) [4]; Theology (Church of
Holy Light)-15 (IQ-1) [2]; Writing-15 (IQ-1) [1].

Spells
Borrow Language-17 [1]; Compel Lie-17 [1]; Compel Truth-17 [1];
Control Person-17 [1]; Control Zombie-17 [1]; Create Air-17 [1]; Daze-17
[1]; Death Vision-17 [1]; Destroy Air-17 [1]; Devitalize Air-17 [1]; Emotion
Control-17 [1]; Entrap Spirit-17 [1]; Exchange Bodies-16 [1]; Explosive
Lightning-20 [8]; Fear-17 [1]; Foolishness-17 [1]; Lend Energy-17 [1];
Lend Language-17 [1]; Lend Vitality-17 [1]; Lightning-17 [1]; Major Healing-
16 [1]; Mass Zombie-16 [1]; Materialize-17 [1]; Mental Stun-17 [1]; Mind-
Reading-17 [1]; Mind-Sending-17 [1]; Minor Healing-17 [1]; Permanent
Possession-16 [1]; Possession-16 [1]; Purify Air-17 [1]; Regeneration-16
[1]; Restoration-16 [1]; Sense Emotion-17 [1]; Sense Foes-17 [1]; Sense
Spirit-17 [1]; Shape Air-17 [1]; Skull-Spirit-17 [1]; Soul Jar-16 [1]; Sound-
17 [1]; Steal Energy-17 [1]; Steal Vitality-17 [1]; Steal Wisdom-16 [1];
Summon Spirit-17 [1]; Telepathy-16 [1]; Truthsayer-17 [1]; Turn Spirit-17
[1]; Vexation-17 [1]; Voices-17 [1]; Wall of Wind-17 [1]; Zombie-17 [1];
Zombie Summoning-17 [1].
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Lex
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2012, 06:58:25 PM »

How does Tuesday 4 September (that's a week from tomorrow) look for those who are interested in HMACE?

Things are still just getting revved up, so it's not too late for new blood....
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Gold & Appel Inc
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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2012, 03:00:10 AM »

How does Tuesday 4 September (that's a week from tomorrow) look for those who are interested in HMACE?

Works for me.
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Brian
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2012, 12:24:14 PM »

I can make this.

~Brian
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Lex
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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2012, 12:49:36 PM »

Sweet, I'm going to get this on the calendar.
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