Need some story elements for Planescape Lady Blackbird hack

edited March 2010 in Story Games
Inspired by the thread on giant detailed settings, I pulled out a copy of what we can all agree is the greatest giant detailed setting of all time, the D&D 2nd edition Planescape boxed set.

The group I usually play with is a little fractured at the moment due to various life changes (babies, houses, etc), so I decided to work on a cool one-shot kind of thing, instead of a 50-session campaign game.

I was thinking I'd just lift the rules from Lady Blackbird, since a) it uses Keys from TSoY/Solar System, which I think is a *fabulous* game mechanic for the planar factions, and b) it is super fun to play.

I have 4-5 characters set up, all with their relationships pointed at each other, Key-wise, but the "Okay, go!" set-up of Lady Blackbird is a big part of what makes it so fun, and I can't think of how to do that for this game.

Characters:
Inciril - tiefling thief/assassin, being chased by demons, wizards and Mercykillers, half-sister to Rowan (Bleaker)
Rowan - elementalist, half-sister to Inciril, feels compelled to get her sister out of her predicament (Cipher)
Closewood - bariaur ranger/fighter-type, Rowan's protector and companion (Godsmen)
Mordecai - ruthless, greedy dwarven planewalker, unwilling/coerced agent of a Lawful Good god (Defier)
Hakeem - itinerant storyteller, Sigil native, hired guide (Indep Sensate)

EDIT: Faction in parentheses

Okay, so ... what situation do these five characters find themselves in?

- What does Inciril have that makes all kinds of bad guys chase her? Is it an item? A map? The location of something? A portal key? Is she a portal key herself?
- Whatever Inciril has that people want, Mordecai has to want it to. But he has to be kept from simply seizing it. Why does he work with her? And what does his Lawful Good patron god (Bahamut, maybe) want him to do?
- How do I tie Hakeem into the relationship web aside from "these sisters hired me"? Or is it better to have a character on the fringe to accomodate less players?
- Where do they start?
- Where are they going?
- Who is chasing them and why?

Help me, old-school Planescape fans! You're my only hope.

Comments

  • Okay, my first impression: "Is she a portal key herself?" is pretty hot, and means she can't just drop whatever everybody is after if things get a little too hot. Obviously, what sort of portal would Bahamut care about? A portal directly into his own celestial realm. He doesn't know exactly where it opens out, so he can't just guard it on his end, and like all gods he's forbidden direct interference on the Sigil end. Killing her to prevent it from being a threat that might be used against him would obviously be wrong, as would imprisoning her forever for something that really isn't her fault, and Lawful Good still means something, damn it. But she's a thief/assassin, so having one of his paladins keep an eye on her would be... very awkward. But fortunately, being the god of dragons means having more money than anybody in the world would know what to do with, so let's just bribe this especially greedy but fairly competent dwarf to make sure she doesn't fall into the wrong hands? If anyone tries to bribe him to get her, Bahamut's promised to just double it, so it's sort of in Mordecai's interests to have her catch the eye of particularly wealthy enemies of Bahamut, but still manage to keep her out of their clutches.

    Hakeem's just along for the ride. Storytellers are always chasing new and interesting experiences, and he knows enough about the city that it's worth putting up with him. (My instincts say to make him a Sensate, so I see a Key for experiencing exciting new sensations,which are sure to happen plenty around a macGuffin like Inciril, and a key for giving useful advice)

    So, demons are chasing her because, well, backdoor into one of their strongest enemies' domains, bet that'd curry them some favor with their dark infernal/abyssal/hadean masters. Wizards and other adventurers are chasing her because, well, the god of dragons has the mother of all treasure hordes. Ding! Mercykillers are chasing her because, well, she IS an assassin, and being Lawful Neutral still means something, damn it! Plus, she's the mother of all disturbances to the peace these days.

    I'd open with them trying to settle down all low-key-like in some Sigil tavern (because being a D&D based setting still means something, damn it!), and then some demons having drinks and playing dice in the corner somewhere recognize her as the key of prophecy that all their masters are so hot to get their claws, tentacles, and other various and sundry appendages on.
  • Thanks, Ben! Good stuff!

    A portal into Bahamut's inner sanctum is a great plot hook. Of course demons would want that, and of course Bahamut would want to get on top of that. And maybe the Mercykillers are after her because she killed someone put someone in the dead book.

    Also, making Hakeem a Sensate is a good idea. I made him an Indep more out of lack of inspiration than anything else. (Edited first post to indicate factions for the characters).

    I like the idea that Mordecai is a black-hearted bastard, and has to serve Bahamut purely out of bitter obligation, rather than for hope of gain.
  • Whoa! That's awesome. Thanks, Judd!

    I was kind of hard-up for Secrets, actually, so this helps a lot.
  • Have you actually played Planescape TSoY? How did it go?
  • Here's my characters so far.

    I used the Exocet font (the official Planescape-y font), of course, but the PDF converter aced it out.
  • What program were you using? OpenOffice has a direct to pdf export function. That shouldn't screw your fonts up.
  • Brian,

    Would you be willing to run something Planescape (this would do, of course) at Camp Nerdly? I've never done anything with it and I'd like to be wowed by it. I've heard I should play Plancescape:Torment but don't have the time (or PC?) to do so.
  • I would love to run something Planescape-y at Camp Nerdly. Count me in! (I've been re-reading the 2E boxed set and the 3E hardcover - seriously, so much really cool, interesting, original stuff in there). If this Lady Blackbird-style hack doesn't pan out, I will come up with something else. I'll put it in the wiki once I get it ironed out.

    Although I'm hoping Judd will drop some Planescape TSoY AP on us here at some point.
  • I don't have much to add other than to say after psionics, Planescape was my favorite game! So this is me happy that you are running this!
  • Oh no you don't. You keep your psionics out of my Planescape. Take that shit over to Dark Sun, yo.
  • If I come to Camp Nerdly I'm bringing my psionics handbook with me!
  • Posted By: Brian MinterOh no you don't. You keep your psionics out of my Planescape. Take that shit over to Dark Sun, yo.
    But without psionics, how will you have Cranium Rat Swarms?
  • Posted By: Brian MinterI would love to run something Planescape-y at Camp Nerdly. Count me in! (I've been re-reading the 2E boxed set and the 3E hardcover - seriously, so much really cool, interesting, original stuff in there). If this Lady Blackbird-style hack doesn't pan out, I will come up with something else. I'll put it in the wiki once I get it ironed out.

    Although I'm hoping Judd will drop some Planescape TSoY AP on us here at some point.
    Man, I wish I had something to say. The game was years ago, was a single session and then we moved on to other things. I don't remember much about it, honestly. Sorry.
  • Posted By: jenskotIf I come to Camp Nerdly I'm bringing my psionics handbook with me!
    You should come. We'll run the same adventure: your PCs will all be psionicists, and mine will all be halfling wizards.
    Posted By: JuddMan, I wish I had something to say. The game was years ago, was a single session and then we moved on to other things. I don't remember much about it, honestly. Sorry.
    No apologies needed! That link you posted is still helpful. It's good to see what other people have done.
  • I still need some help with SITUATION for this hack. Ben's suggestions were great. Anyone else have any bright ideas?
  • Brian:

    Write some Keys down on slips of paper. Mix them up. Assign them to the characters and evolve them to make them distinct. See where the Keys point.
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