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MadCast: VoShay

Blades on the Path Introduction and Rules

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Introduction

In an industrial city set under a broken sun, the upheaval that forever changed the world has settled into a never-ending half-life; a place where the desperate, the poor, the hungry all fight to take what they can in a world where only the lucky and strong survive. The land of the rising sun, Nihon-that-was, was irreparably damaged when the sun was lost, but under the watchful eye of Tenno Meiji, The Emperor for-ever and ever, do those lost souls cry ‘Banzai’ and continue to live in a fragile peace won over a century ago.

 

The only malcontent that truly remain are the samurai. A social class that has fallen, precipitously, to the bottom- those that continue to claim descent from the warrior lords of old continue to fight in the dark spaces at the edges of civilization- to fight, kill, steal, and reach as the masterless ronin yearn for their place in society once more.

 

You are one of these ronin. Under the clans Hokuten, Nanten, and Touten the most skilled and tenacious of these sellswords (and worst) fight and die to reclaim a glory only their ancestors knew.

 

General Information

Welcome to Blades on the Path. Blades on the Path is a two-part multi-system tabletop experience for our community to take part in. It combines two games, Wind on the Path and Blades in the Dark, into an unforgettable experience for all our members. The experience will begin with a month-long Wind on the Path game before moving onto Blades in the Dark. Wind on the Path will be open to everyone, including associates. Blades in the Dark, however, will be a Member-Only experience for any member to partake in. Information on the Blades in the Dark game will be forthcoming in June. For now, let us dive into Wind on the Path.

 

Wind on the Path is a 1v1 dueling game that is meant to be played in individual bursts with whoever is available. Players will have the @Samurai tag in Discord and duels can be performed in Discord voice (taking 15 to 40 minutes depending on experience and pace) or on the forum over the course of a day to week. You may only duel a specific samurai once per week. You may enter into any number of duels simultaneously, though it is suggested you keep the number down to 2 or 3 so that if the worst happens, a dead man is not in ten concurrent duels.

 

Players will be separated into three rival clans: The Hokuten, headed by Mitsurugi Takeno (Player- MadCast: VoShay), The Nanten, headed by Botosu (Player- MadCast: Khaos) or the Touten, headed by Mansu (Player- MadCast: Munsa). Every duel win will count as one point for your clan, and every duelist you kill will count as 3 additional points. If you manage to win five duels, you have the option at any time to officially retire and create a new duelist. This will earn your team five points. If instead you are killed, the enemy team will earn 5 additional points instead of 3 for the death of a veteran samurai.

 

This game will play for a month-long period, at which time a halt on all new duels will be called and approximately three days will be given to finish up and tally the duel results. Once results are finalized, winners will be announced. The following victories are available:

 

  • Triumphant Clan: The clan with the most points will win. Ties will be decided by most retired samurai.
  • Samurai Master- The player with the most retired samurai. Duel wins will act as a tie-breaker, followed by duel losses.
  • Clan MVP: The samurai in each clan with the most wins. Ties decided by losses.
  • Indefatigable: The samurai who survived the most duels. Ties decided by wins.
  • Untouchable: The samurai with the longest win streak. Ties decided by most wins over the lifetime of that samurai.

 

Any ties after these additional tie considerations will stand. Additionally, all individual winners will be given a randomized pick order of game codes available from MadCast: VoShay.

Edited by MadCast: VoShay

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Rules

The first game in our meta-game and narrative is Wind on the Path. Wind on the Path is an indie RPG published in the Gauntlet’s Codex: Iron. Codex is an innovative RPG fanzine that puts out original games, supplements, and art. If you like Wind on the Path, it's probably worth checking out the catalogue.

The rules for Wind on the Path will be private messaged to every samurai who posts their intent to signup. In short, the game is a gambling game where each player raises the odds and competes with hidden information to attempt to win the duel. Players roll two six-sided dice, referred to hereafter as 2d6, sometimes adding a modified of +/- a number to the roll. Nearly always this will be 1 or 2, with effective maxes of -2 and +6. A roll of 10+ is an unmitigated success for you giving you a huge benefit. A 7-9 is a mixed benefit where your opponent often gets some amount of benefit as well. A 6 or less is a failure, and typically your opponent will get far more out of it than you will. The most common mechanic in the game is revealing information about your samurai, most of which is harmless (like name, or home region). Whoever has the least revealed information gets an automatic +1 to their rolls. If the duelists are tied, no one gets this bonus.

 

To make a character, follow this link to a google sheet. In the top left corner there will be a link to a google form. Completing the google form will add your samurai to the google sheet. You will use that google form to run your samurai and modify your character sheet as needed. On the google form, your samurai ID is like a username and should be your MadCast: name or forum name with or without the MadCast: designation, your call. The Google Sheet can be used to run duels. As there will be multiple duels going on at the same time, it is your responsibility to keep track of future wounds and the tension level on your own. While your character sheet will track revealed/hidden information, it will not track the tension level or future wounds. Do not expect the google sheet to remain untouched and available to you alone for hours or days on end.

 

When you are dueling in voice or forum, it is up to you how deep and robust your roleplay is. It can be a completely mechanical experience where you are playing the game and without worrying about any kind of roleplaying. You can have a deep roleplay experience with each other and have multiple forum posts with no rolls and/or a roleplayed conversation in voice chat. Both are acceptable ways to play the game, and neither way is better or more right.

 

If you sign-up, after using the google sheet, please post in the Sign-up Thread with your Duelist's Eyes, Look, Sword, and Style. You may choose to reveal your name or not in the post, but it will not count as mechanically revealed for duels. Feel free to include a little backstory as well if you are so inclined. Also, give yourself the @Samurai tag on Discord to be easily pinged by other players.

 

Meta-Rules:

  • Have fun!
  • There will be a FAQ in this thread, a Q&A thread for any questions you have, and Munsa/VoShay/Khaos will be happy to answer questions on Discord or, if they have the time, moderate a duel in voice chat. Make sure to ask questions if you have any!
  • Please keep the number of duels you are in 2 or 3; That way a dead samurai is not completing eight other duels they started simultaneously.
  • You may only retire your duelist if they A ) Have 5 or more wins and B ) Are not currently in any duels.
  • You may only duel a specific player once per week, even if they have made a new duelist.
  • At the end of each week-long period, all wounded samurai will recover from any wounds they currently have. This is the only way to remove a wound.
  • We are using a dice-bot and forum and google sheet to both make it easier to play the game and to encourage honesty and fair play. That being said, this game has some interesting complexities and requires you to try your best to be forthcoming and reasonable about anything the other player should know, understand, and who has which (publicly known) bonuses.
Edited by MadCast: VoShay

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start a duel?

You can ask for a duel in Discord by going to the #tabletop-chat and @ing @Samurai to ping all the players to see if someone is interested in a voice or forum duel. Additionally, you may make a post in the Blades on the Path subforum titled Duel: Blank, where blank is a title of your suggestion, to show you are looking for a forum duel. Anyone who can legally challenge you is allowed to challenge you to a duel.

 

Do I have to dedicate myself to playing this game a lot?

You shouldn’t have to. A passing familiarity with the rules makes a voice duel about 15-40 minutes, and a forum duel between Munsa and VoShay (the first duel ever by them) took about an hour of active working time each to complete including roleplay, with the total time taken being a little more than 2 hours while they were in voice together. Playing outside of voice, expect each duel post to take about 5-15 minutes depending on the level of roleplay, knowledge, and how good you are with Google Sheets/Forms. Play as much as is fun for you.

 

What if I die?

Unless you are being very risky or gutsy, it's somewhat difficult to die. Without taking future wounds, it's impossible for an unwounded character to die. A wounded character with no future wounds only dies on a 12+ roll, which is an unlikely/hard/high roll on two six-sided dice (1/36 chance at +0). Future wounds can only be added to a character who has taken the Improve action, which is optional. Additionally, this is a game where death is likely and common. You’re expected to make new samurai one or more times over the course of the game.

 

But I love my Character/Idea!

If you have a really cool, juicy character idea for our Blades on the Path game, that’s great! If you want to really explore that character in depth, we suggest you save that concept for the Blades in the Dark portion of this meta-narrative- characters will face actual death far less often in that section and you’ll have more time to explore them in a traditional TTRPG (Tabletop RPG) experience.

 

So… future wounds? How do those work?

Future wounds are an opening you have given your opponent to strike you, setting you up to do something else dangerous. You give yourself, or the opponent gives you future wounds. You can only gain a future wound if you take the Improve action and you or your opponent choose the 'Roller takes 1 future wound' result. Future wounds are very high risk and dangerous- most duels are impossible (no one came into the duel wounded) to unlikely for death to occur without future wounds. Future wounds are a two-edged sword: You usually receive a mechanical benefit, but death or grievous injury becomes more likely. As you accrue future wounds, the eventual Strike roll becomes far more dangerous to you, but you also gain bonuses against your opponent.

 

How do I use the sheet and form and everything to run my character/duel/etc. I’m confused.

Have your Google form open when you are working on/participating in a duel. Your Samurai ID (username) should be in an active duelist cell. It will track all information on the sheet visibly based on the last submission of your form. You can track the revealed information during the duel verbally, by paper, or by re-submitting your google sheet. Remember how much information was revealed at the start of the duel, as that is important for working out how witnesses work. Ask VoShay/Munsa/Khaos if you need more detailed information.

 

How do witnesses work since you brought it up?

Revealed information makes your samurai easier to fight- the least known samurai in a duel gets a persistent +1 until the samurai are equally known or the other samurai becomes less known. As a duel progresses more and more information is made known. When a duel ends, there are 0-5 witnesses. The location has 0 to 3, and each surviving losing duelist (both lose in a tie) is a witness. For each witness, one piece of information (the samurai’s own choice) is permanently revealed. Once you have chosen one piece of information per witness, everything else you revealed is hidden again. When you start a new duel, you may reveal a hidden piece of information even if it was revealed (and then re-hidden) last duel. This is very important to how the system works, so ask if you have any confusion or questions.

 

How do I report a win/loss?

Link your forum duel or post stating duel occurred in the Month of Blades tracking thread. If your duel opponent does not contest the duel, we will assume that the post is accurate.
 

I want to roleplay but my duel partner doesn’t/My duel partner is roleplaying but I don’t want to.

First- it is your choice how much you roleplay. You cannot force your opponent to match your level of roleplay. If the other person is at a different place, try to match or come closer to it so you both have a better time of it. Also, there’s nothing wrong with playing the game for pure mechanics (no roleplay) or flexing your writing muscles and doing a deep dive and writing up your side of the duel like a scene in a book while your opponent doesn’t match your kind of activity. Have fun in your way and let others do so in theirs.

 

Can I roleplay just to roleplay?

Absolutely. Post a thread titled Roleplay: Title and invite others to join you in the market or at an inn or wherever to have a conversation. If it spills over into a duel challenge, make a new duel thread- challenges are considered binding and you must duel. Additionally, there will be a ‘Red Dragon Inn’ sticky thread. All roleplay in that thread will happen in the Red Dragon Inn, and you should quote whoever you are replying to so that individual threads of roleplay can be tracked easily. Challenges in the Red Dragon Inn are optional, so if you wish to roleplay your character without being ‘vulnerable’ to a duel challenge you don’t want to accept, do so there.

 

Do you have any advice on roleplay?

The Golden rule of roleplay, as always, is 'Don't be a dick.' For more specific advice about roleplaying in general, peruse these two links. For an example of roleplay in this very system, peruse the duel between Takeno and Mansu.

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