I had a great chat with my father-in-law yesterday about free will. My wife and I branched out on that during the car trip home. What happens sometimes when I have great conversation is that game mechanics or adventures pop out. I’d like to say that this was uncommon, that part of my brain is not always grinding away at making games, but that is not the case.
I guess what is different in this case is that I’m going to share this idea with you. I’m going to flesh it out on the blog, or at least write the scaffolding. Follow along and I hope you like this adventure! I’m going to stay mostly system neutral, but I’ll of course go out of my way to say that 13th Age would be a fine, fine system to run this in.
Wrath of the Demiurge
They rejected her! She had broken their laws, true…but she was a god, or near enough to not suffer this fate. Plummeting from the heavens, her body blazing gold and aflame, she seethed. Her treachery would live past her, she knew. Already the seeds of the deed were sprouting into myth and legend. The gods and all their power could not remove the stain she had placed on the world. The best they could do was rid the world of her…
But she would not let them do even that. Not even my death will you gain. She gathered the last of her failing power, inhaling and centering the energy in her chest. I will die now but I will be reborn. I give my life to my children, who one day will unite and bring me back into this world. When they do, I will complete my design. I will have my vengeance.
She exhaled, releasing her energy and her corporeal form into a cascade of energy. As her body and consciousness crumbled, her last thoughts were of the realms that only gods knew, and how she would return to them one day.
Wrath of the Demiurge is an adventure “platform” for a fantasy game. I call it a platform because it is meant to provide a great scaffolding for games, and is also able to be run multiple times. This adventure has stages and threats and other components to help you run it, but it does not have a storyline. You and your group bring the story and plot through your actions. Each time the Demiurge is different: what does she want? Who is she? What did she do? Each time your characters are different as well. I think the best adventures are platforms that you can run time and time again with nothing being ruined. I am building Wrath of the Demiurge in that tradition.
Back to the setup. When the Demiurge “died”, she placed fragments of her will and consciousness in random mortals. The fragments were passed on to certain descendants of these mortals, or passed on to another soul if these mortals had no children. Each new birth caused the power of her will to grow, and now centuries later, she has enough will to “awaken” the children who hold parts of her inside of them, imprinting them with a basic knowledge of who they truly are, and who she is. She then compels them to perform a Blasphemy in this world which will set the stage for her rebirth. When the Demiurge can be reborn, she exacts a Price from her children and then returns.
The players are the Demiurge’s children. They’ve been living their own normal lives until one day the Demiurge awakens in them. The Demiurge is inside them, but does not control them — yet. The Demiurge can provide them with power and solutions to their problems, but each player can attempt to resist her calls. Still, the Demiurge can make her presence known. When she exerts her will, even the strongest people cannot resist. Does your character even want to resist? Even if you do not resist, will you pay the Demiurge’s Price?
Wrath of the Demiurge is an adventure of power, temptation, and free will.
Next up: Roll your own Demiurge!