Saturday, 11 October 2014

Couple more AW probability graphs

The following depicts the probabilities of individual results after you've expanded a move in AW and unlocked the 12+ results.

And this one is a simple representation of probabilities of rolling just a basic "hit" (any result of 7 or more), versus a "miss" (any result of 6 or less).

Friday, 10 October 2014

Probabilities of 2d6 with common PbtA modifiers

Update: Here's all the data in a pretty graph.

Original: crunching:

6-: 72,22%
7-9: 25%
10+: 2,78%

6-: 58,33%
7-9: 33,33%
10+: 8,34%

6-: 41,66%
7-9: 41,67%
10+: 16,67%

6-: 27,77%
7-9: 44,45%
10+: 27,78%

6-: 16,66%
7-9: 41,67%
10+: 41,67%

6-: 8,33%
7-9: 33,33%
10+: 58,34%

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Shrouded Lands

If you were to sail south through the Ruined sea, navigating between the numerous islands of Eusebes, past even the shores of the Lion Empire, hugging the coast as to avoid the perils of Drowned Calaus, you would eventually reach the dour coasts of Oschei. Although still pleasant in the summer months, these lands and waters are noticeably colder than the warm seas of Eusebes.

Moving inland from the shores, the land quickly slopes upwards, rising into a great mountain chain stretching from Oschei to Nardag on the Haunted Sea. This mountain range forms an almost impenetrable barrier between the Empire of the Peacock Throne to its north and the cold, vast and unpleasant lands of the Venvard nomads to the south.

Along the shores of Oschei, traces of Eusebian culture have been introduced by sailors and traders. Some temples of the Assembly have been built overlooking the sea and Eusebian currencies and artifacts are not uncommon.

Deeper inland, along the foothills of the mountains, the Lion empire holds its sway with a string of mountain fortresses which are constantly at war with the Peacock Throne, whose monarch are always trying to spread their influence further east and south.

The mountains however, have never been conquered by any great kingdom or empire. Its people are scattered and their tribes isolated and incredibly diverse. Almost each village speaks a wildly different dialect or an entirely different language. There are dozens of ethnic groups throughout the area. Their religious practices are however surprisingly similar. They revolve around the worship of a divine being who gave mankind knowledge and skills, against the will of its brethren, and is being eternally punished for it. Worship is a thing of everyday duties and rituals, but some members of society retreat into remote mountaintop monasteries, where they delve deeper into the mysteries of their faith.

Many villages are at war with each other over petty feuds, while others enjoy peaceful alliances or an existence completely isolated from outsiders and each other. Because of various attempts at incursions from both the Lion empire and the Peacock Throne, some villages have been built like fortresses, while others have retreated further and higher into the mountain valleys. Some people have carved their homes into the softer rocks of some hills or cliff sides, containing whole underground complexes.

People's subsistence depends largely on flocks on sheep and goats, fish from mountain rivers, gathering, hunting and some small-scale farming. The area has the highest density of ethnicities on the continent, many of them native, but with numerous small communities of settlers coming from as far as Béné.

The mazes of Pakmanethet

In the far western reaches of the continent, a small cluster of peoples speak of a god that came to them across the outer oceans. It is a foreign god, not born of their soil. The theology they preach is that of Man-Pac. On the opposite side of the urth, by the coasts of the Ruined Sea and the banks of the river Tanaquis, people worship a god, whose rituals and tenets resemble greatly those of Manpac, even if the two peoples have never had direct contact. The worship of Man-Pac is older, but the worship of the other god is native to the deserts of the south-east. This confuses theologians to no end.

This second god, the god of the kings of Tanaquis, known as the Judge With Teeth of Fire and the Ghost Eater, is Pakmanethet in the original language. He has two distinct but confluent identities. One is that of the golden solar disc, The Yellow Rotund One, a position in the heavens that allows him to observe and judge the deeds of mortals during the day. During the night he descends into the winding passages and endless chambers of the underworld, where he becomes the executioner, the gobbler, chasing after the spirits of the sinful inside his domain.

As he howls through the endless winding passages of the Maze of the Dead, Pakmanethet requires the sacrifices of his faithful to maintain his strength while he journeys to the underworld. Should they fail to provide him with the fruits of the earth, he will wane in power - the foul spirits may overcome him, and he will never reach the Eastern Gates where he can emerge from the darkness to shine on the world again. 

Although not part of the official creed, it is commonly believed that Pakmanethet was one of the giants of old, that came to this world from the stars and made war with the serpents in the earth. His relentless obsession justice and merciless treatment of sinners comes, according to some apocryphal text, from his failure to save some of his shipmates, when the sailed the black oceans to make war with the great serpents. He holds humanity to such high standards, because he doesn't want them to repeat the mistakes of the past.

His worship certainly originates in the deserts north of the Ruined sea, where the sun's oppressive gaze is omnipresent during the day. The desert peoples believe that a person's soul is made of water and Pakmanethet devours the sinful with his fiery teeth, taking into the sky with him where it might undergo terrible trials and torments until it can be released back into the earth through the rains and flow to the Silver Mother beneath the earth. But that is a discourse for another day.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Sardonic cults of the Ruined Sea

In the early days, before people knew how to work bronze and the children of Erache still ruled the world, it was customary amongst the peoples of Eusebes to exalt the finest amongst them through funerary worship. Feeding on sacrifice, the exalted dead did not fade into the grey anonymity of the underworld, but continued to impart their blessings upon the living. A number of them continues to be worshiped as the Assembly of Anostos, a separate set of gods from the more savage deities of Eusebes' past.

There was one king, especially mighty in his rule, who had come to receive such exaltation before his passing from the world. He became an eternal, and was set to rule his kingdom in perpetuity. Although the identity and manner of his murderers varies with each account of the myth, it is always said the king was fed the deadliest of poisons and forced into the ashen oblivion of the underworld. Though they may have taken his earthly body and authority from him, the king preserved his place in the Assembly.

His mortal name struck from the records and swallowed by the underworld, he is known as The Lord of Bitter Waters, He-who-laughs-in-death, Rootbiter, Waits-in-the-earth, or simply the Nameless in the Assembly of Anostos. People of the Sea Exarchs identify him with the mythical First King of Gebal. He is worshiped on the Raven Isle as Carro, who must be appeased to allow the sowing of crops least he will poison the grains, causing convulsions, delirium, laughter and eventually death. Sailors from Venvard have identified him with the ritual royal sacrifice of their lands, intended to ensure a good harvest for the year.

He is depicted with a terrible skull-like grin, his body either stiff like a corpse or crooked as if enduring great pain. He sometimes wears a crown weaved from poison flowers. Mushrooms are sacred to him, as are all things old and immutable. Old age is praised over youth, decline over growth. The rulers of Eusebes are impostors on his rightful throne, life is a mockery that is only allowed to continue unchecked until his return. He is worshiped in dead places, underground, in natural caverns or earthen cellars, dug for this specific purpose.

Temples of the Assembly only include his shrines in a token capacity, keeping his statue veiled. Seeking communion with him through an oracle of the temple costs double. Those who would benefit from his benevolence typically pass the ritual duties and sacrifices off to devoted cultists, preferring not to deal with the god directly. His cultists are scornful and derisive of society, breeding a particular sense of superiority mixed with resentment, strengthened by their isolated status.