Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Necro-Cavaliers of the Astral Galaxy

  
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, obviously one of Jack's inspirations
  
I recently had the opportunity to playtest a new ruleset written by Jack from Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque.

The game is called Necro-Cavaliers of the Astral Galaxy. You can get it free or PWYW from Jack's new itcho.io storefront.

In this game, you portray a highly-cultured and morally-depraved aristocrat, trained in the martial sciences and arcane arts, in the service of the God Empress of the Astral Galaxy. The grandeur of the God Empresses various houses and courts reminds me, for some reason, of the Catholic Church, or probably more accurately of the 2018 Met Gala of "Catholic" fashion, with cathedrals made of bone, and endless orders of nuns and priestesses all dressed in flowing silk. 

I think Jack was inspired by Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth, both by Tamsyn Mur. My own touchpoint for my character was Jack Vance's The Last Castle, which is also about bored, decadent aristocrats who are incomparably talented, but also lazy, incurious, condescending, and immoral. I played a member of House Satomi, who are the God Empresses archivists and librarians.

You can read Jack's first summary of my playtest here, and his second summary here. I rescued my missing sister and was terribly snobby toward the police on a farming planet. Playing a character who is rich enough to buy almost anything she wants, and talented enough to accomplish almost any task successfully is a real switch from most versions of D&D, where something like the opposite assumptions hold true. Probably the biggest challenge was using my character's occasional "insights" to my best advantage. The mystery my character helped solve was apparently inspired by the film Devil's Gate, which sounds like it really wastes the efforts of its impressive cast.
  
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, also obviously another of Jack's influences
  

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