Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Housecleaning a Memory Palace in Scarabae

I recently played in an online game in Tales of the Grotesque & Dungeonesque's open-table Scarabae campaign.
I usually take contemporaneous notes when I play, because I think that something valuable and interesting happens at the table, and I want a record of it. In this case, I knew that Jack would be publishing his own summary on his own blog, so I'm just going to link to that below.

I played the character "Traviata Maru" - named for Verdi's opera La Traviata (based on the Alexander Dumas' play La Dame aux Camélias, which was in turn based on his own novel of the same name), and for the comic book character Dr Maru, aka Dr Poison, from the Wonder Woman comics.

I knew that Scarabae was a New Weird city, so I wanted to play some sort of demimondaine figure. Traviata used to be an opera singer, so she has D&D 5e's "entertainer" background and the "inspiring leader" feat that lets her inspire people with her singing. She caught consumption, which explains why she left her job and has now started adventuring. It also explains why her Constitution score is only 8. Now she's some kind of scientist - the new "artificer" class with the "alchemist" specialization - who wants to make both medicines to help "the innocent" (herself and people who remind her of her herself) and poisons to punish "the guilty" (her operatic and alchemical rivals, ie, anyone more professionally successful than her.)

Nicole Kidman as Satine in Moulin Rogue! (2001)

Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers in Black Swan (2010)

Elena Anaya as Dr Poison in Wonder Woman (2017)

A summary of Traviata's first adventure in Scarabae can be found here. She turned on a mechanical phonograph, smoked some magic drugs that made her more emotionally unstable than usual, used her alchemy to save the life of a dandy, and assisted in staging a re-enactment of a traumatic event to help release the memory of the trauma from the high-rise apartment that had transformed into a magical diorama of the event.

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