I'm starting this up as a wiki with the idea other interested parties, especially the players, can come and add to it, offer new ideas, and create.
The google group is here.
The weblog for this game is here.
Related pages include
- Shadowgate Survivors What characters do we definitely keep? What characters would we rather do without? Player input requested.
- Major Changes A list of stuff that will change when we go to Shadowgate Mythic. Player input requested.
- Campaign Dials Describes the campaign settings, skills, and options that are in play.
- Thematic Elements Includes setting aspects, groups, locations and major characters.
- Shadow Gates Description of a few specific Shadow Gates present in Mythic City.
Locations with Maps
- Mythic City Maps including an overview and a couple of neighborhood maps.
- Glass House A club run by fae.
- The Glymjack Hollow Simple map of the little hollow and spring the Mythic PCs use.
- Rey Lafitte's House A floorplan of Rey's home
- A Small Strip Club An example using "Starrs" a strip club in central Mythic City.
- 1 Stories
- 2 Political Arena: Fae
- 3 Political Arena: Therianthropes
- 4 Political Arena: Vampires
- 5 Faction Chart
- 6 Environment
Political Arena: Fae
In Shadowgate, we have Seelie Courts and Unseelie Courts, with a single monarch ruling each court. Theoretically, they wield power over fae everywhere, both in Faerie and the Mainland (the world of mortals). Obviously, this is vast and so the ruling courts often can feel vey remote. So they appoint lesser dukes, barons, knights, etc. to handle things on the local level.
The monarchs personally wield vast powers also, power which can be wielded by those that follow them. It is also said that should the monarch wish it so, they can cut that same power from any individual. Be it truth or legend, it is said the monarchs further have the power of life and death over all that follow them...
For our purposes, we shall name a Queen as ruler of the Seelie Court and a King as ruler of the Unseelie Court. The Seelie Court is also known as the Summer Court and the Unseelie Court is also know as the Winter Court.
Fief of the Golden Mesa
Seelie fae of tend to congregate more in the western portion of Mythic City. The fief was granted not long after the first European settlers arrived in the area and although it has changed greatly over time, it is currently led by Countess Dahlia Blackthorn (Just and Gracious Leader of the Seelie Court).
The Desert Duchy
This Unseelie domain is seated in Santa Fe and claims authority over Unseelie fae for a wide area beyond the bounds of the small city itself. It's run by the ruthless but sensible Duke (Sidhe Lord of Snakes). It, too, was founded at the time of the arrival of the first Europeans to the area.
The Brimstone Barony
Much younger than the Desert Duchy to whom the Baron owes fealty, the barony's seat is in eastern Mythic City. Baron Charles Carnifex (Ambitious Lord of the Under Dark) is ambitious and aggressive. It's no secret that he seeks to conquer the Golden Mesa and thereby gain the prestige and notice necessary to convince the Winter King to grant him the title of Duke and replace the old guard in Santa Fe.
Political Arena: Therianthropes
The largest group of shape-shifters in Mythic city belong to the Stormfront pack. This pack consists almost entirely of werewolves -- feral wolf shifters that have the power due to a kind of supernatural disease.
They are based out of Santa Fe and own a biker bar that caters to therianthropes. They also hold controlling interest in a casino in Mythic City that helps pay for pack activities. Over the years the pack has grown considerably, leading them to expand business interests to more clubs and bars. It's not well known just how many and where those business interests lie.
Stormfront, like all werewolf packs, are led by a powerful werewolf alpha named Chaska (Feral Alpha Werewolf of the Stormfront Pack) and his mate, Lyla (Primal Werewolf Assassin). Chaska is strong enough to discourage challenges to his leadership. In general they divide leadership along gender lines; Chaska leads males and Lyla mate handles leading the females.
In Shadowgate: Mythic, the struggle between man and beast within a shape shifter is part of the overall conflict. Always is instinct warring with reason.
Other Therianthropes also occupy niches in Mythic. It is rumored several werecats have taken residence in central Mythic City and a nest of were-snakes lurk in the basement apartments and sewers of one of the oldest neighborhoods of the city. Leadership of these groups are similar to how such orders are determined by they animal counterparts in the wild.
Political Arena: Vampires
Leadership of vampires and control of the largest share of vampire holdings in the city belongs to the Master of the City, Nayeli de Albán (A Nosferatu of Great Age and Power). The Master claims the right to decide who may create a child vampire, how many ghoul servants a vampire may have, and where vampires may hunt.
In addition, the Master of the City claims tribute from every vampire in the city. Tribute must be paid in blood (mortal blood), financial resources, or personal service to the Master. The cost of the tribute increases with position, so if the Master of the City granted one vampire dominion over valuable downtown hunting grounds, the Master will expect very significant tribute. Those vampires who get nothing but permission to do things need only pay this tribute as some minor service for the Master.
Few vampires are able to deny any demand the Master of the City might make, however. After all, refusing to pay tribute inevitably leads to the vampire losing everything they have and if they avoid punishment, then you are still fair game for anyone else who finds them.
Her seat of power is somewhere within Mythic City itself.
- Faction Chart Includes just the largest groups of supernaturals and in-the-know mortals of the Mythic City setting.
There is no Hedge. There are Faerie Realms and there is the Mainland. That's a very important distinction.
This is how fae move from their faerie realms and the Mainland. Known, permanent Gates are extremely valuable. Fae will guard them and monitor their use. The position of Guardian is very prestigious and powerful. Other gates can happen, but they usually require special circumstances, special times, and/or lengthy rituals or a special set of things must occur for a Gate to form.
This is different as well. Fae cannot create gates at will out of any doorway, window, or other portal.
Permanent Shadow Gates are very valuable because fae can use them to travel to any place they personally know. Temporary gates usually only open to specific places in the Fae Realm. A Guardian of a permanent Shadow Gate has it in an aspect and can invoke that aspect for a bonus on any fae magic. Free invokes can be gained by using Will to create an advantage on it. Only one fae at a time may be a Gate's Guardian and link to its power in this way.
Travel within the Fae Realm can vary wildly. A skilled traveler (typically one with the Dreaming skill) can navigate the Fae Realm most efficiently, reducing the time it takes to get from one place to another very significantly. In this way, the Shadow Gates and the Fae Realm can be used to very quickly move from one place to another in the Mainland, especially if a permanent Gate is available.
It should be noted that traveling from the Fae Realm to the Mainland requires a Gate, either permanent or temporary. However, the fae must go to the location the Gate is rooted.
Descriptions of the more well-known Shadow Gates can be found here!
As defined in the Shadowgate: Essentials guide, fae were once human or descendants of something that was once human. There are several parallels between Shadowgate Fae and the changelings from WoD. There is a potentially infinite variety of them. Each fae might be completely unique in appearance and abilities.
These are people that have magic. Although this pushes a mortal up to the status of a supernatural being, they are still in many ways, the most important ways, mortals.
Spellslingers vary by their approach to magic. Their philosophy colors how they work magic using the skills they've learned. They are powerful but specialties can vary as much as any other group of supernatural beings might vary.
Shape shifters include werewolves. These exist in the WoD Mythic setting and should be no problem including them in the Shadowgate setting. However, Shadowgate gives us more options.
For one, it's just as easy to add werewolves as any other kind of shape shifter. This adds to variety.
For another, there are three broad types. This should add even more variety. Categories include the Cursed, the Ferals, and the Primals. Full details are available in the the Shadowgate: Essentials guide.
- Cursed. These are shape shifters cursed to be as they are, often with little control over their shifting or freak-outs, but usually gain other supernatural powers regardless.
- Ferals. Consisting primarily of werewolves, these are contagious! They can spread their disease with a bite. Shifting is uncontrolled at first, but in time they can learn to master it -- to a point.
- Primals. These are shape shifters that were (or are) originally residents of Faerie. They have true control over their shifting and forms.
Each of the above types have various options available to them, making each type very interesting to play.
Vampires can be similar to WoD vampires. However Shadowgate Essentials adds a couple other broad types of vampire, including a Norse and a classic movie-style monster. In all there are Aristos, Draugur, and Nosferatu. Again, see Shadowgate: Essentials for full details.
- Aristos. These guys are modeled to be a lot like the vampires you see in popular fiction these days. They can pass as human most of the time. They are the wolves in sheeps' clothing. They are the most similar to vampires as portrayed in the WoD version of Mythic.
- Draugur. This type of undead is a deathly nightmare from Norse legend. Perhaps they can be likened, somewhat, to a revenant.
- Nosferatu. These were created with an eye toward monstrous vamps that might appear human but that is very superficial. Their true form is that of a winged monstrosity. Think of the winged form of vampires portrayed in the '90's Bram Stoker's Dracula film, as well as more recent films featuring a vampire that transforms into a winged monster.
Psychics. A few, very rare mortals might stand out as psychics with very real powers. The Psychic Powers supplement is an excellent tool to use to represent them. In other respects, Psychics count as mortals for the purposes of determining powers that affect them. This supplement is found on the Fate Core Downloads site.
The Fae Realm
On the other side of the mortal realm the fae call the Mainland lurks the realm the fae and the Sidhe Lords call home. It is in many ways far wilder and strange than the Mainland, and it is certainly suffused with magic. It exists as much as a dreamland as it does an alternate reality. It is to this fantastic place the Shadow Gates lead.
The terrain in the Fae Realm is very different depending on what influences it. For example the portions of the Fae Realm that are inhabited by the Seelie fae of the Golden Mesa tends to be very lush. The beautiful side of a fantastic version of nature is emphasized.
But those regions connected to and inhabited by the Unseelie tend to be cold and harsh. Death is common as violence.
Places frequented by neither Seelie or Unseelie fae are especially wild and might hide the dark places in which Side Lords lurk, or the hidden paths used by unaligned fae. It is easy to get lost in the tangles, ravines, hedges, and caves that dominate this dangerous landscape.
Yet time can move differently in the Fae Realm than in the Mainland. A skilled fae traveler can navigate it so well he could greatly reduce travel times by using Shadow Gates in and out of the 'Realm. Those skilled in the craft of Dreaming can do so with more predictable results.
Other Supernaturals in the Fae Realm
Sometimes supernatural beings other than fae manage to gain access to a Shadow Gate and make forays into the Fae Realm. Because they lack the special skills and sense required to find Shadow Gates, this is rare and usually only happens if some fae grants them access or shows them a way in. Regular traffic by this beings can also influence the Fae Realm in the areas they frequent.
For example, places frequented by vampires might become dark due to overgrowth, low-hanging clouds or the like. Colors may seem more drab and the vegetations and creations may seem more deathly.