Immersion, Occult and You!

Good Afternoon Gentlemen, Sentient Creatures and Ladies,

Today’s post is prompted by a recent question from someone in the community.  We were asked “Does Occult have to be witchcraft type stuff or could a player flavor his Occult rituals as, say, ancient prayers?”  This is a very good question as it plays into our intent with a lot of the crafting skills in the game.  So let’s start by saying that what we are interested in when it come to Occult (and to a lesser extent Science and Alchemy) is that players adhere to the casting time and components of rituals.  That’s it for what is mandatory for use of the Occult skill.  Theoretically one could just sit and whistle for 15 minutes over an Amber Stone and two Textile components to make a Warding charm.  

But is that fun for you and others?  Remember that immersion is not just about entertaining yourself, it is about a collective atmosphere that is created when players all engage each other in play. So if your character is an adherent of one of the two out of three in-game legal religions, and you wish to create a warding charm by praying for protection over an Amber Stone and two Textile components (or better yet, ask another player who is aligned with the same religion to join you in the blessing), then so be it.  There are a few caveats though that are a matter of policy.  We ask that you use as little reference to real world religions as possible, even if you yourself are an adherent to one of those religions.  We understand that not everyone is creative, and that re-wording real world prayers and religious rites is simple, but in those cases we would ask that you simply ask staff for a viable suggestion or use the recommended method of casting the ritual.  We also ask that you be mindful of other players and of the properties we rent for events.  Once upon a time there was a player who approached us as staff at a different  game and asked if he could slaughter a live animal at one of our events.  This may be a different game, but it’s the same answer, NO!!!

Players who come up with really unique and immersive experience for their rituals may find that they are rewarded for their effort and entertainment of other players, not just in the memories and experiences that they share in the community, but also in the attention that the plot staff will provide to those that prove they want to create a more fun game for other players.

These blog posts have a comment section, please feel free to leave a comment with questions or suggestions for occult rituals in Aurum.

Economy Talk

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

 

Welcome to the new home of our weekly posts, the Aurum Larp Blog.  (Don’t worry, we’ll still be linking these on Facebook for easy reference). With the next playtest coming ever closer, we’ve decided to release our initial list of purchase price for in game items.  These projects are subject to in-game availability,  but this is the markup price for items that can be purchased from the Quartermaster should they be in stock.  Let us know how you feel about it.

Component Cost:

Named Component: $1 per rank (at lowest rank available.  For example Bar Stock may be found in many recipes for Physics, but the lowest rank it is available is 1, therefore it costs $1 each).

General Components: $1 for 5 (May only be purchased in multiples of 5)

SCIENCE

Natural Science -Theory I

First Aid Kit: $2

Field Surgery Kit: $2

 

Natural Science -Theory II

Splint: $3

 

Natural Science -Theory III

Transfusion Kit: $5

Medical Trauma Kit: $5

 

Natural Science -Theory IV

Full Surgery Tool Kit: $12

 

Physics – Theory I

Bullets: $5 each

Thrown, Simple and 1 Handed Weapon: $3

Great Weapons : $4

Other Ranged Weapons: $5

Caltrops: $2

Shackle Trap: $2

 

Physics – Theory II

Pistol: $5

Revolver: $7

Musket: $6

Rifle: $8

Shield: $4

Light Armor: $4 per piece

Medium Armor: $5 per piece

Heavy Armor: $6 per piece

Springboard Trap: $3

Needle Trap: $3

Net Trap: $3

Pit Trap: $3

 

Physics – Theory III

Basic Clockwork Limb: $5

Steam Powered Battering Ram: $5

Spring Loaded Boots: $6

Reinforced Armor Plating: $5

 

Physics – Theory IV

Steam Powered Personal Magnetic Field Generator: $11

Hyper Collapsible Parachute: $7

Energy Displacement Kit: $7

Basic Clockwork Messenger: $12

 

Chemistry – Theory I

Iodine: $2

Ferric Chloride: $2

Smelling Salts: : $2 per batch

 

Chemistry – Theory II

Temporary Adhesive: $3

Anesthetic Ointment: $3

Gunpowder: $3 per batch

Minor Explosive: $3

 

Chemistry – Theory III

Lesser Acid: $5

Erigeron Heterophyllum: $5

Explosive: $5

 

Chemistry – Theory IV

Acid: $6

Bartholomew’s Efficacious Elixir: $7

Major Explosive: $10

 

Aetheric – Theory I

Aether Goggles: $3

Aetheric Attraction Crystal I: $2

 

Aetheric – Theory II

Aetheric Stabilizer: $3

Aetheric Disruptor: $4

 

Aetheric – Theory III

Aetheric Attraction Crystal II: $5

Aetheric Cage Trap: $5

 

Aetheric – Theory IV

Aetheric Neuralizer: $10

Aetheric Rift Generator: $12

 

OTHER

Occult I

Warding charm: $4

Beguiling Trinket: $3

Arcane Ink: $2

 

Occult II

Spirit Fetish: $3

Sever Lesser Bond: $3

Lesser Weapon Enchantment: $3

 

Occult III

Lesser Arcane Seal: $6

Sever Bond: $5

Weapon Enchantment: $6

 

Occult IV

Arcane Seal: $8

Sever Greater Bond: $7

Greater Weapon Enchantment: $8

 

Poisons II

(Note: Poisons are considered their appropriate ranks in terms of cost, but 1 rank lower for effect.  So Expedient Death is a Rank III poison effect but a Rank IV for cost)

Sandman’s Tears: $4

Creeping Death: $5

 

Poisons III

Hallucinogen Poison: $6

Black Lily’s Curse: $7

 

Poisons IV

Paralysis Poison : $10

Expedient Death: $15

 

Alchemy I

Lesser Antidote: $2

Lesser Healing Draught: $3

Lesser Firebomb: $4

Lesser Potion of Sunset and Sunrise: $2

 

Alchemy II

Antidote: $3

Pure Breath Potion: $3

Firebomb: $5

 

Alchemy III

Greater Antidote: $5

Healing Draught: $5

Potion of Clarity: $7

Potion of Sunset and Sunrise: $5

 

Alchemy IV

Juggernaut Potion: $8

Draught of Life: $10

Greater Firebomb: $8

Rules: Math Changes

Good Afternoon Gentlemen, Ladies and Sentient Creatures,

It has been quite some time since we’ve posted any rules things on the site, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been tweaking our rules where it needed. Thanks to player feedback from all the playtests we’ve been making additions to our Beta rulebook which should go live in November. In the meantime here is a preview of some skills that we’ve added to Mathematics in the Science section. These skills are in addition to those that already exist. We’ve also changed Exponential Application in rank 4 Practice. Take a look:

Math – Theory III

Mathematical Micromanagement – When crafting or assisting in the crafting of a recipe that is using salvage to replace generic components, the character may convert the salvage at a ratio of 3 for 2 instead of 2 for 1.

Math – Theory IV

Game Theory – the mathematician gains tactical insight into predicting the moves of his opponents. The character may defend against attacks as if they possessed the Dodge skill. Game Theory requires two action points to activate.

Math – Practice I

Mathematical Reclamation – Spend 15 seconds of roleplay to attempt to scrap a destroyed scientific device and gain a single salvage component. This skill may only be used on objects that are beyond repair and may only be used once ever per object. Scientific devices are any objects that are specifically crafted using scientific schematics.

Math – Practice II

Cryptography – This skill may be used to either decode or encode a message with a cypher by spending 30 seconds of roleplay per complete sentence that is encoded or decoded.

Math – Practice III

Mathematical Reclamation II – Spend 15 seconds of roleplay to attempt to scrap a destroyed scientific device and gain two salvage components. This skill may only be used on objects that are beyond repair and may only be used once ever per object. Scientific devices are any objects that are specifically crafted using scientific schematics

Math – Practice IV

Exponential Application – When crafting, triple the generic components and increase the Crafting time by one interval of any rank 3 or lower Scientific recipe to double the yield of the recipe. The character may use this skill to assist others in doubling their crafting yield, so long as both players roleplay collaborating in the crafting. This skill may not be used with Poisons, Alchemy or Occult.

Calculating Aim – The character may spend 3 AP to automatically hit a target with a Firearm or Ranged weapon within 30 feet.

One-Death System

Good Afternoon Gentlemen, Sentient Creatures, and Ladies,

For today’s post we are going to be addressing the topic of how we handle the one death system in Aurum and how it pertains to PVP. The goal of our game, as always, is to create an immersive, story driven experience for all, and that includes when character’s die. We want to make sure that the end of a character is a satisfactory experience that enhances the narrative of the game and drives things forward. When a character reaches the comatose stage of their death count and it is evident that help is not on the way, a plot marshal may approach the player and ask them if they want to retire their character. If the player agrees and hands over their character card, the plot marshal will contrive an extenuating circumstance that allows the character’s death to be crucial to the success of the rest of the game. The nature of this may vary, but examples include waking up from a coma to deal a killing shot on a major plot villain, waking up from a coma and dragging themselves back to town to deliver pertinent and crucial information before they should die, diving in the way of danger to save everyone else with their last breath, etc. This is our intent in how to handle permanent player death when it comes to interacting with plot within our game world.

But what happens when players decide to engage each other in deadly combat? What happens when players decide to plot against and execute a murder of a different player? We do not outright ban this behavior, but it should be noted that murder is illegal in the game world and that both magic and science exist in our world. But even with these tools it is possible for a player to “get away” with murder. So how do we handle the epic ending for the murdered character in a fair and balanced way? As explained earlier, the epic ending for player characters is handled by plot in a game world where the supernatural is not only real, but there’s an entire branch of science that deals with supernatural and spiritual phenomenon. It is entirely possible for the slain PC to come back and haunt his killer, or for the trauma of the slain character to be so great that it creates an Aetheric being or curse. The exact nature of this is ultimately up to plot and the circumstances of the character’s death. We feel that having a system like this will discourage indiscriminate massacres, but still provide a fun narrative for players that wish to engage in PVP or play characters with a darker moral compass. So what do you folks think? Please tell us below in the comments.

Thieves, Bandits, Scoundrels!

Good Afternoon Sentient Creatures, Gentlemen and Ladies.

The hard working people at Stoneforge and Company have had several prototype scientific devices stolen!! We fear that they may have made their way into unsavory hands. So we ask you, the movers and shakers of the world to get them back for us, and in exchange the quartermaster may reward you with some functional earlier prototypes.
————————-
So the above is a little bit of in-game fluff to explain away our Goblin Market.

The Goblin Market is our Service Point store, and through it you can purchase things to help your character in their adventures. Things like research bonuses and additional ranks of Tough were already included in our Alpha Rulebook, but for the Beta we wanted to beef up the list a little more. So, we’ve come up with some Wondrous Items that can be purchased through the Goblin Market and are previewing them in this post. These are not the only devices, we plan on making the Goblin Market a living one, where items can cycle in and out and new ones pop up during the year. Here is what we have so far, enjoy:

Grip Guard Gauntlets – Once per encounter may use the “Retain” skill at 0 AP cost, whether the character has learned the skill or not. This item will last for the entire weekend, afterwhich it irreparably breaks.

 

Skeleton key – Will unlock a working door that is not magically sealed. It is made of very soft metal and thus is rendered useless after one use, or at the end of the weekend if unused.

 

Professor Morton’s Hyper Reflexive Elixir – (Rank 2 Medicine) Once per encounter the imbiber may use the “Dodge” skill at 0 AP cost, regardless of whether the character has the skill. The duration of this medicine is 1 event. This medicine will expire at the end of the event in which it was purchased. The purchaser has the option of starting off having this as an item or having the medicine already be administered to themselves. If they choose to have this as an item, standard medicine rules apply.

 

Doctor Spengler’s Aetheric Reinforcement Oil – (Rank 2 Chemical) Adds +2 Armor vs. Aetheric Creatures to a single piece of armor. The duration of this chemical is 1 event. This chemical will expire at the end of the event in which it was purchased. The purchaser has the option of starting off having this as an item or having the chemical already be administered to piece of armor they are wearing. If they choose to have this as an item, standard chemical rules apply.

 

Temporary Rubberized Flotation Device – Will allow the character the use of the swim skill for one encounter. The device is not designed for prolonged use and thus is rendered useless after one use, or at the end of the weekend if unused.

 

Flauvio’s Filching Fingercuff – This item is placed into a pocket, pouch or bag and will thwart the next pickpocket attempt targeting that container. This device is very delicate and thus is rendered useless after one use, or at the end of the weekend if unused.

 

Lady Perry’s Pewter Pestle of Perfection – This item allows for the brewing of one specific Alchemy or Chemistry recipe at one time step faster for the rest of the event. The recipe must be known to the character purchasing this. This device is very delicate and thus is rendered useless at the end of the event.

Hidden Skills

Good Afternoon Sentient Creatures, Gentlemen and Ladies,

 

Today’s post is going to be about hidden skills, aka found skills, aka whatever the final name for these skills will be. In previous posts I have discussed ways in which they could be unlocked and earned by players. In today’s post I’m going to talk a little bit about what the design philosophy is behind these skills and what players can expect stepping into the world of Sha’uru.

 

From where we stand as a game the purpose of these skills is to progress a character’s advancement in a direction that is informed by their role-play and core concept. It is meant to either make a character better at things they are already capable of or add skills that just make sense for the specific character. They are not meant as rules patches, they are not meant to allow people to dip their toes into areas that their character is not capable of reaching otherwise, nor is it meant as a means of cross classing. We want each character in the game to feel organic and to be part of a team, not a super character that can do it all. Because by their very nature the purpose of these skills is to be found through interacting with the game world, I find it difficult to just reveal to you what they are. At the same time I realize that it may be important for players to just have a general sense of what they can expect. So below is a list of what categories you can expect and what you will never see from these skills:

 

You can expect:

  • Any Ranked Skill capped within your class or on the general list having one or more additional ranks above it as a found skill. (Theory IV to V got Scientists, Tough III to IV for Mercenary, etc.)
  • Skills similar to Jump, Climb and Swim, which help to overcome module obstacles but are not covered by skills on the general list or a class list.
  • Recipes/Schematics that may be the product of a moment of discovery for the particular character.
  • Skills of an oratory nature that are not currently in the general list or class list. (Inspiration type, Bardic Type, Charm Type skills of some kind).
  • Action Skills that have a duration or role-play timer but do not have a rank II listed in the rulebook.

 

What you will never see:

  • Any Ranked Skill capped within your class or on the general list having one or more additional ranks above it as a found skill when additional ranks already exist in another class. (Engineers will not be able to get Theory III as a found skill because Scientists already have Theory IV, Tough III for classes with Tough II, because mercenary already has Tough III)
  • Skills that cannot be at all defended against or mitigated in some way. Everything should have a soft counter at the very least, if not a hard counter. An example of a soft counter is Willpower vs. Charm skills. An example of a hard counter is Crit vs. Parry.
  • Action Skills that make no sense to rank up, mostly because they do not have a role-play timer or a duration. For example, Disarm and Crit are fine as is, and do not need a Disarm II or Crit II.

I hope this post clarifies things for people. If you have questions, feel free to comment below, and don’t forget to like the post (or even share it if you want others to see).

Theory vs. Practice

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

 

Today we are going to once again talk about Science in our game. Now in previous posts we’ve discussed the mechanics of how Theory and Practice work, and the different schools of Science. Today’s post is more general and meant to give people an idea of what it means to have a certain rank of science. Now the game is set in a fantasy world similar to Victorian England, and as such the structure of education is not quite what it is today. In order to better help people understand I will be using current educational models to help you relate. So first, Theory vs. Practice.

 

Practice is on the job training of specialized manual labor, either through some kind of apprenticeship or just flat out doing it until you get it right.

 

So Practice 1 is equivalent to taking a semester of Autoshop, or a few Pottery Classes or a First Aid Course. Not a lot of formal training, and after a few months you get the basics of it and can get better on your own.

 

Practice 2 would be a formal apprenticeship. Now you are fairly competent at making things. Perhaps you had a factory job or you worked in a machine shop. You know things that take a few months to learn and possibly years to master.

 

Practice 3 now gets to the point where you are highly trained or specialized labor. You are not only competent in your field, you are sought after by people who need this specialized skill as one of the best in the business.

 

Practice 4 makes you an artisan. You are so good with your hands that you are renown in your particular craft.

 

Theory is more formal education, rather than hands on. Formal schooling as well as working in a laboratory environment provide you with the knowledge represented by this skill.

 

Theory 1 would be the equivalent of a High School AP course in the given field. You are above the chaff, but by no means are you an expert in the field.

 

Theory 2 would be a formal Bachelor of Science degree, a double major, or multiple Bachelor degrees depending on how many ranks of Theory you are picking up in different fields and how you choose to roleplay it. You are highly educated and knowledgeable in your fields of study.

 

Theory 3 would be the equivalent of a Masters Degree or someone who has previously been published in a scientific journal. You may have managed a laboratory, overseeing other lab technicians to perform your work.

 

Theory 4 would be a Doctorate. You are a respected specialist in your field and have had several books published within the scientific community.

 

This is why we placed Theory 1 and Practice 1 on the general list, because there are characters that may have been exposed to some formalized education or training.

Story Development Actions: Research

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

 

Today’s post will be about how to apply the Research Story Development Action. It’s very important that our players understand that discovery is a huge part of a game, and that is not just limited to finding monsters and ruins in the continent of Antioch. The staff wants the players of our game who are so inclined to attempt to discover and experiment new recipes in any of the skills that allow for crafting (Science, Occult, Alchemy, and Poisons*). With the exception of Poisons, which has its own set of rules, anyone possessing the appropriate rank 1 skill can research new recipes, regardless of class. That’s right; Research is not exclusive to Scientists and Engineers. Those classes can do it better and can research recipes beyond rank 1, but all Science Skills, Occult and Alchemy are available on the general list. This means that anyone with an inkling of inspiration and some basic knowledge can conceive and research a new recipe. Here is how it works:

 

After attending an event, a player that wishes to research a new recipe submits this request as a Research Story Development Action, citing all applicable skills and ranks that they have. The staff will review the submission and make a determination if the proposed recipe is a) balanced and b) appropriate to the rank being researched. If the recipe is not balanced, the staff will do their best to come up with one or more alternatives that will be in the spirit of the player’s submission. If the recipe is not of the appropriate rank then the player is unable to create the recipe but receives the knowledge that what they are attempting is beyond their ability. This does not mean that the player walks away empty handed. Should they approach another player to collaborate with that does have the appropriate skill, they can submit an assist Story Development Action for that player and add both the bonus for being an assistant AND an additional bonus for their previous research.

 

Additionally, should a Research action fail (either because of a poor roll or because the player did not have the appropriate skill level), we encourage the player to attempt to test the failing device at the next game they attend as a way of increasing immersion and creating role play scenes for others. Our only restrictions are that the device failure cannot be harmful to any other player in game (you are free to harm yourself in game with your inventions if that is fun for you) and the props used must be safe out of game for everyone (including yourself). Doing this may garner benefits to future research rolls as well as other rewards for creating immersive content.

 

Once a player has succeeded at creating a recipe, they will receive a schematic for it and a single finished product for crafting skills that create finished products, or a single set of components for those that provide a temporary enhancement.

 

So what kind of things would you like to research at the game? Tell us all about it below (or send us an email if you’d like to keep it secret for now). We want to hear from you.

 

*The Poisons skill does not allow for the researching of new poisons, that action is done through Natural Science skills. The Poison skills are used for the crafting, detection and application of poisons.

Aetheric Sciences

Good Afternoon Scientists, Engineers and General Practitioners,

Today’s post is about Aetheric Science in Aurum. This is a field of science that we introduced into the game in order to play into the theme of how science and magic can often intersect in the world of Aurum. Aetheric is the study of Aetheric Forces. Aetheric Forces are unseen to the naked eye and permeate throughout the world of Sha’uru. Like light and heat, Aetheric Forces can shift and change in an environment based on a number of different factors. They can also interact with certain organisms and create Aetheric beings and creatures. Most of these creatures cannot interact outside of their Aetheric fields, but every now and then something happens that can cause these creatures to not only take corporeal form, but become hostile and antagonistic. In ancient times, Aetheric Forces were known as spirits by occultists, and a lot of the research in this science was developed by applying the scientific method to the scraps and theories found within the musty tomes of Occult libraries. Below is an example of the difference between how an Aetheric Scientists views Aetheric Forces and how an Occult Practitioner views the same thing.

SCIENCE / OCCULT

The Aether / The Spirit World

This is the general term for the state in which most Aetheric Forces and Entities Exist. / This is where spirits live.

 

Aetheric Remnant / Ghosts

This is an Aetheric Entity created when a creature expires near a high amount of Aetheric Forces. The creature is imbued with the echo of the living creatures essence, thus mimicking some of the creatures traits. / The spirits of the recently departed.

 

Agitated Aetheric Remnant / Poltergeists

This is similar to a standard Aetheric Remnant, except that the Aetheric Forces involved in its creation are so great that it can manifest and interact with physical objects in strange ways. / This is an angry spirit that can be very dangerous.

 

Malignant Aetheric Entity / Demons

This Aetheric Entity that has developed sentience and is actively seeking to form a symbiotic relationship with a physical host, often to the detriment of the host. / Demons are evil and must be banished or destroyed.

 

Localized Aetheric Disturbance / Gremlins

Small Aetheric disturbances that are created in areas with a large number of machines, interacting with physical forces in a way that interferes with the proper operation of said machines. / These little jerks are proof that the spirits hate machines.

 

Concentrated Aetheric Fissure / Caern

An area with a high concentration of Aetheric Force that often attracts Aetheric Entities and can influence Aetheric Devices and Crystals. / A site of strong spiritual connection that spirits are often attracted to.

Class Discussion: Engineer & Scientist

Good afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures. Today we’ll pick up where we left of on Tuesday and continue our discussion of the classes and how they fit into the game world. Today’s focus will be on the two primary crafting classes in our game, Scientists and Engineers.

 

Some big themes in the Steampunk and Gaslight Fantasy genres are Scientific Innovation and Discovery. This is why from a mechanical standpoint there’s a lot of overlap with the two classes at low level and the base rank of all sciences is on the general list, we want to provide a wide range of players the opportunity to feel like they can create and add to the game, even at a basic level. Scientists and Engineers are at the ones on the cutting edge of invention, but they approach it from very different standpoints.


Engineers are motivated by putting science to use. Pushing the boundaries of science is all well and good, but putting innovation into the hands of the masses is how the world is brought into a new age of enlightenment. Engineers build, mix, and tinker with whatever fuels their passion. Engineer characters tend to towards professions that you would expect them to be, Chemical Lab Technicians, Engine Mechanics and Heavy Equipment Operators. But they can also be people who came to science from a different angle, such as EMT’s, Clockwork Hobbyists and Illicit Drug Dealers.

 

Scientists approach things for a different angle. Yes, bringing knowledge to the masses is noble, and education is certainly something they encourage. But rather than focusing on making things, they excel at understanding the universe at a core level. Breaking it down and pushing theoretical study and analysis to its limits. By gaining true understanding of the building blocks of the universe, they can push science forward and improve the world with their discoveries. Just like with Engineers, Scientists fall into backgrounds you’d expect, Doctors, University Professors, , Chemist and Physicist. But they can also be Scientifically Minded Nobility, Curious Clergymen, and Lawyers looking to lock down a patent.