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 Conquerors of the Deep (Bionicle RPG)

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JazzTap
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PostSubject: Conquerors of the Deep (Bionicle RPG)   Sun 25 Aug 2013, 2:57 am

This'll be a relatively rules-light play-by-post 'tabletop' RPG campaign based on LEGO's Bionicle line. Hopefully it's not entirely inaccessible to those not already familiar with that setting. Though this setting mirrors the canon one, roles have been swapped and the timeline compressed.

All player characters have been called upon to retrieve the Mask of Life, as were the Toa Mahri in canon. You may seek to save the universe, which has begun to shut down. Perhaps you need to work off an eternal jail sentence. Or, you're merely in it for the exceptional pay.

IC intro(s) will start to be generated once I have a better idea who the PCs will be.

disclaimer
Bionicle belongs to LEGO, and was designed, created, and illustrated by quite a number of skilled artists. I merely hope to pay tribute to it.

Some Rahi and most Dark Hunters belong to the fans who submitted them to LEGO, at least in design. I hope to not tread on the expectations of any, but if so, it will be unwitting.


= Gameplay =

Successful completion of actions which someone opposes is subject to dice rolls, which will be invented on the spot as necessary, influenced by circumstances and attributes. PCs belong to their player, and NPCs are mine as GM to control, except possibly for followers during combat.

Map (via BS01 Wiki):
 

Players may organize their characters into groups, each of which may seek to confront one character each turn in their efforts to secure the Mask of Life. Combat is not automatic. Dialog is encouraged. Fleeing is an option, for both players and their opponents.

Returning the artifact sought to your Order handler will conclude your mission. If you take too long, cataclysmic events will occur. Defeating Barraki and other opposition will get them out of the way, and potentially allow you to commandeer their resources.

powerplaying
Certain masks and powers can be used to alter characters' mental and physical states in unwanted ways. These generally require both significant focus on the part of the aggressor and a target insufficiently powerful to resist. Hopefully, these loopholes will suffice for players to get their characters out of unacceptable situations at reasonable cost.


Charsheet:
 

Playable Species:
 
Unplayable Species:
 
Ability Tables:
 
Equipment:
 

Optional - Livery:
 


= Setting =
the pit
Exposure to the waters of the Pit mutates most beings into aquatic creatures. Unless your character remains in a submarine or an air-dome the entire duration of their adventure, exposure will surely occur.

The effects of the Mask of Life can instead produce a similar, but less monstrous aquatic adaptation. However, the artifact is capricious, often outfitting its champions in ways that hinder or challenge them, but nonetheless suit its needs.

injury & upgrades
Despite the modular build of most inhabitants of the Matoran Universe, physical injuries may not only disconnect parts (which could otherwise be snapped back together) but also damage them, to say nothing of biological vulnerabilities.

Matoran are notorious for succumbing to shock should many parts be detached from them, which generally prevents them from travelling in Toa canisters. Repairs dealing with internal connections are particularly hard to come by in most Matoran settlements, let alone on an adventure.

Nonetheless, dramatic biological and mechanical modifications are common (and commonly survived) among warriors in times of conflict. Spare parts and skill generally play a role, although potent reagents alone sometimes suffice.

death
Upon death, an individual's constituent parts will generally be either given an honorable burial, or scattered about by wild Rahi feeding upon the connective tissue and residual charge.

Matoran are sometimes told they will in fact be sent to the Red Star for repairs, but this is a lie to spare their feelings. If this happens to a player character, well, we'll see what can be done.

birth
So where do all those individual Rahi come from, anyways? The Brotherhood of Makuta is known to have something to do with it, but is also notoriously secretive.

As for individual sapient beings, with the exception of Matoran, none is known to have been created in the last several thousand years. But then, most species are secretive, and memories are fallible. Barring traumatic events, few individuals can remember details from more than a few hundred years back, let alone how they met their neighbors and friends.



Timeline:
 

Thanks to the BS01 wiki as a reference site, particularly regarding details of the lore that weren't explored by merchandise.


Links, map labels, and example charsheets pending, as are NPC voice-tests and details of the endgame. Most things subject to change.

I'd like to get this draft checked for interest, at least. Check for parts that don't make sense. And hopefully recruit some player characters.


Last edited by JazzTap on Sun 25 Aug 2013, 4:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : timeline revision)
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PostSubject: Re: Conquerors of the Deep (Bionicle RPG)   Sun 25 Aug 2013, 3:11 am

I'm interested. I'm not sure what to do though, and I know absolutely nothing about the bionicles universe, terminology, or anything.
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PostSubject: Re: Conquerors of the Deep (Bionicle RPG)   Sun 25 Aug 2013, 2:18 pm

Bionicle, eh? This one goes way back... I'll have to remember rather a lot.

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PostSubject: Re: Conquerors of the Deep (Bionicle RPG)   Sun 25 Aug 2013, 4:19 pm

Heh. Well, at least its existence is remembered.

Currently I'm looking for charsheets, the template for which is hidden under one of yonder spoilers. Information regarding species, at least, is immediately below there.

Here's a list of islands which characters might be from. Local government may include Turaga elder(s), Skakdi gang-leader(s), or other charismatic entities. Most regions will have a Brotherhood of Makuta member governing them; their level of interference varies.

The timeline includes a bunch of terminology which can be looked up in the BIOsector 01 Wiki (if you're up for a wiki walk). Links have been added inline with the timeline proper.

Attempting to rephrase the basic premise: You're a biomechanical adventurer racing to retrieve a powerful and active artifact. But there's some warlords and war criminals and civilians in the way, and the secret society employing you might be at fault for that.

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PostSubject: Re: Conquerors of the Deep (Bionicle RPG)   Sun 25 Aug 2013, 4:58 pm

Though I'm curious, why wouldn't one want to be a Toa, if they're listed as playable right off the bat? I mean, we could be Turaga, and have a minor power at the expense of having the HP of a naked level one wizard, or we could be gods among men. I assume the balances are pretty steep?

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PostSubject: Re: Conquerors of the Deep (Bionicle RPG)   Sun 25 Aug 2013, 5:28 pm

Er, well, I went with Toa as a baseline assumption, though that may be a bit ambitious. Am more concerned about story generation than gameplay balance, though of course letting the latter get out of hand leads to plot holes.

Figured that since Turaga are relatively underpowered, they'd be harmless to allow, provided there's some reason one would be recruited - perhaps as a very brave guide / mentor. Presumably the player would be aware that their character would be difficult to use in combat. And for utility. A social role, then, to lead the Matoran of Mahri Nui.

Really, I can probably be convinced to allow characters of an 'unplayable species' if they fit someone's concept and seem justified & interesting within the premise. Even Titans can be hit with mutagen or Ignika as a power-limiter, as per canon's blatant crippling of lesser Makuta in '08, to prevent short-circuiting of plot.

Not sure what you mean by balances. A sort of luck bonus for underpowered characters?

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the density function of the normal distribution
exp(-πx²)
a discrete sampling, up to variance and cutoff
1d6 - 1d6

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PostSubject: Re: Conquerors of the Deep (Bionicle RPG)   Sun 25 Aug 2013, 6:28 pm

I was just meaning there's a wide power disparity. But if we're meant to generally play as Toa from the start and just have one of the other types if we're feeling plucky, then that's cool.

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PostSubject: Re: Conquerors of the Deep (Bionicle RPG)   Sun 25 Aug 2013, 6:49 pm

I remember the Bionicle line. I'm sad that they're gone...

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PostSubject: Re: Conquerors of the Deep (Bionicle RPG)   Sun 25 Aug 2013, 10:44 pm

This sounds really cool! And I like the fact that you've brought up some of the other "elements" for Toa and whatnot, and the other species, and jeez this looks really great! Depending on how much time I have in my schedule when school starts again, I may or may not join this!

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PostSubject: Re: Conquerors of the Deep (Bionicle RPG)   Mon 02 Sep 2013, 5:08 am

If need be, the RP can just go into hibernation until winter break, hopefully without starving to death in the process.

For now, here's a somewhat brief example charsheet, on the off chance someone will be inspired. If the strength of the source lore is insufficient to get this thing moving, then I'll toss a build at it, too.

Titles: Pandemic, Dark Hunter
Species & Appearance: Skakdi of The Green, boasting exceptional strength at the cost of suggestibility. Not entirely dissimilar from the Piraka in build; spine is bright green, armor is navy reinforced with silver.
Ignika Mutations:
longer tail, digitgrade feet
heavier armor, closed helmet (+ handsomeness, - eyebeams)
blatant lack of improvements to aquatic mobility
Additional Pics:
 
Demeanor & Voice: Surprisingly civil. Raspy, but nearly always confident, regardless of subject.

From: Zakaz, as a conscript in some army or other.
Place & Goal: Some distant safehouse, cooling his (?) heels. Awaits transport to the job site.

Relationships:
Employee of Toa Helryx. Has never met her.
Immediate subordinate of Brutaka; member of the deep strike team he oversees. Straight-up admires the guy.
Fascinated by Zyglak. Unlikely to actually get along with them.

Attributes: overgrowth, corruption of memory, charismatic leadership
Beliefs: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, hesitation is weakness, it's not my fault
Proficiencies: weapon (harpoon), weapon (staff), athletics (run), combat (unarmed), proficiency (plate armor), social (listen quietly), travel (portal), craft (mining), ecology (underground), powerup (thermal energy)

Goals: impress superiors, test strength, aid lessers
Drive: Altruistic / Selfish

Other: Wields an energy-bolt harpoon, built to double as a melee weapon.

_______________________________________________________________________________________
the density function of the normal distribution
exp(-πx²)
a discrete sampling, up to variance and cutoff
1d6 - 1d6

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Last edited by JazzTap on Sat 02 Aug 2014, 7:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Conquerors of the Deep (Bionicle RPG)   Sat 12 Oct 2013, 5:10 am

This seems like a really cool idea, and I'd love to participate, but, to be honest, I'm the shittiest Bionicle builder in all of time and space. Seriously, I wish I could make what you can. The best I can do is really simple, stupid looking things.

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PostSubject: Re: Conquerors of the Deep (Bionicle RPG)   Sat 12 Oct 2013, 7:52 pm

Hey, thanks for the vote of confidence. If you do care to join, having an MoC to go with your charsheet certainly isn't necessary. Simply having enough players to run with would be wonderful. Heck, I'm excited simply to see what OCs people might submit.

In the spirit of recruiting more people, I've been considering moving this to the Roleplayer's Guild forums, as the Dungeon Keepers folks seem to have done. But I'm not sure how accommodating that forum is to homework-laden schedules, let alone newcomers.

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1d6 - 1d6

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