Eternal Darkness: Equestria's Requiem

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Eternal Darkness: Equestria's Requiem

Post  Doc pseudopolis on Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:20 am

I was looking at the tvtropes page for the gamecube game Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem a couple days ago and I thought "Hey! This would be a neat idea for a ponytales campaign...I need to figure out how to translate the rules for this." So I started talking to Cuteless over skype for ideas on how to do it.
Sanity effects
The first thing I thought of and was certain on was that the element of laughter would be banned, this would be a horror campaign and the element would just make it less so. So in-order to remain true to how the game worked and keep it in it can be changed to a Sanity effects table, to clarify the players would have sanity points which could be lost/gained in various ways (caught by monsters, witness deaths and other horror and so on...) and at intervals the GM can roll on the table for them with modifiers relating to how many SAN points they've lost (Such as only rolling a D10 if they've only lost a few, or adding 50 to the roll if they've lost almost all of their SAN points) and having things happen to them relating to what was rolled (One of your allies casting a healing spell, and seemingly exploding from the waist up for example.).
Ancient Alignments
One of the central parts to the gamecube game was the three (well four) ancients, at the beginning you chose an artifact of one of the three ancients which put you on a story path and dictated what sort of enemies you would face while there was a fourth that operated outside of it. Now I'm not sure how to do the artifact selection but I do know, or at least have an idea of, how to have the ancient alignments interact in combat atleast. It operates in a triangle: With Chattur'gha aligned monsters/effects dealing more and taking less damage to and from Xel'lotath with the same happening with Xel'lotath to Ulyaoth and Ulyaoth to Chattur'gha respectively With Mantorok sitting outside the triangle and trumping the other three but being much rarer/shorter lasting. This will be done by assigning Weakness and Resist to monsters according to their alignment.
The Tome
The other central part was the titular Tome of Eternal Darkness, during each chapter of the gamecube the player character would eventually come across and claim the tome, gaining access to magick. However I'm unsure of how to work this personally. Ideas are to use it as an X/Over time magic element, having it grant Talent specialization points or it granting certain utility talents.
One particularly interesting idea from the conversation is the following, working off the idea of each subsequent tome-bearer being able to use what previous bearers could use.
Tome of Eternal Darkness - 5/day
Upon activation of this item, pick three Utility talents to add to the book
You may expend a use of this ability to use those three, and any other Utility talents you find in the book as your own for 10 minutes.
And that's as far as I've figured out so far.
Credit also goes to Hayatecooper/Cuteless for helping me with the ideas.

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Re: Eternal Darkness: Equestria's Requiem

Post  Zarhon on Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:43 pm

Sounds interesting. I've been tempted to make a few horror/faux horror campaigns of my own, but that is a quite literal logistical nightmare to accomplish, and requires quite the careful detailing (notably, making sure you don't forget something vital that sends the horror and mystery right into the trash).

The main problem of horror campaigns is how to deal with player mortality - obviously, players *have* to be threatened in some manner, whether by grievous, uncurable injury, risk of death, or fates worse than death. You can't hold your player's hands, or give them deus ex machina's whenever they get in trouble or do something stupid. Consequences on protected/well-liked NPCs is a manner to instill threats, but isn't as huge as personal threat.

The problem is how to implement it, as death provides three problems:
1) It essentially screws over the player who suffers such a fate - once the player dies, the fun stops for him, as he turns into a spectator until he gets a new character to play, if at all possible.
2) If the players die off unexpectedly, or fail to accomplish something they should have, the campaign can literally end on that spot, before any of its decent horror elements or plot twists and turns are even exposed.
3) The DM / player has to supply a new character for the dead player, or he stops player altogether, depending on the setting and character availability. Some campaigns work this by making a "waiting list" - players who wait for other players to "die off", so they can join with their own characters.

Going by the ED:San. Requiem idea, it could actually work out! After all, the book is a collection of past lives that had the (mis)fortune of acquiring it (or provided its secrets for cosmic reasons unknown), and have become part of its pages. It is, quite literally, a narrative time machine.

Rather than make a large, singular campaign, each adventure is a short "quest" of a few individuals - previous owners of the book, of whos adventures a character reads in the present. Whether they live or die to finish their quest is irrelevant, as they are only part of a larger story, read by someone in another time to unravel the mystery.

An idea would be to have the PCs make a number of characters to start with in the present - their main "hero" characters. They then recollect on the memories within the book - completely different characters (either DM supplied, or built by players to fit a past setting, e.g. "pirate age"), whos fates, depending on their actions, either leads to doom or a semblance of victory - as such, they are pretty much expendable for the story (though failure leads to consequences in the present, obviously).

There can even be interludes with the "main" characters, as they theory-craft and work puzzles and minor challenges to work out the larger mystery. The "book memory" segments can be split into small sessions. The "Eldritch Alignment" can even fit for those small sessions - at their start, the players pick (or are randomly provided) an alignment that they will then face until they finish that segment.

Eventually, they learn all they can from the book, and the PC's "main" characters are sent into real risks to finish the story, leading to ultimate victory, or defeated and doom.

The entire thing could also work as a setting of its own, with smaller campaigns of multiple DMs/player groups/adventures working as world-building. Different player groups, depending on performance, could lead a threat or boon to any of the other campaigns, shaping the world/history with their actions.
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