Blur: A system for abyssal fog

(Oliver) #1

Blur degree

Your Blur shows how far you’ve been changed by the fog. It starts at 1.

  1. Fogbound Normal for a fog dweller
  2. Fog-blurred Minor instances of déjà vu grant +1D help testing in Fog
  3. Fog-infected Roll one die and add the result to your Blur degree to determine your infection. +1Ob Circles in Town as folk avoid the fog-infected.
  4. Fog-eater Gain a new fog-conditioning in order: fog-iron, -calm, -courage, -endurance, -tough, -balm. Also access to fog-fresh and -ghoul. +1 Lifestyle in Town as folk refuse fog-eaters (along with +1Ob Circles from being fog-infected).
  5. Fog-shade You are partially intangible. Only results of 5 or 6 count as successful Attacks or Feints in a fight. Not welcome in Town.
  6. Fog Total ontological dislocation: Retire character.

Blur roll

When you are exposed to the fog, make a Blur roll by rolling a d6. If you roll higher than your Blur, add 1 to your Blur and the GM will describe how you changed hitting your new degree of Blur.

A Blur roll does not cost a turn.

While in the fog, if you’re Blur 2 or higher, you may add your Blur die to any test. If your Blur die rolls higher than any other die, make a Blur roll.

If your Blur ever reaches 6, you become one with the fog and are never seen again.

How often to roll

Characters make a Blur roll once per new exposure to the fog, so when they leave the fog and then return into it. Wearing breathe-protection prevents exposure.

After the initial exposure, characters can keep breathing fog without needing to make another Blur roll. However, when characters fail tests while exposed to fog, the GM may ask them to make a Blur roll in addition to the twist or condition imposed.

Also, at the end of each phase—adventuring, camping, or journeying—the GM may ask for a Blur roll for anyone exposed to the fog.

Accumulating changes

The longer you spend in the fog, the more it changes you. If the result of a Blur roll is not higher than Blur, you may still be changed. The GM will describe how you changed based on your roll result.

  • A Blur roll of 1 or 2 has no effect, unless you’re Blur 1.
  • If you’re Blur 3 or higher, then a Blur roll of 3 means the GM rolls another infection.
  • If you’re Blur 4 or higher, then a Blur roll of 4 means you gain the next fog-conditioning in order.

Removing changes

You can decrease your Blur score by leaving the fog. At the start of each phase out of the fog, roll a die. If you roll lower than your Blur score, reduce it by 1 to a minimum of 1 and remove all changes related to that degree of Blur.

When you spend winter in town, your Blur resets to 1 and you lose all changes.

Exposure

If you have protection, then you’re not exposed; e.g. beak mask, scavenged fungus mask, magical amulet, prayer. Other things may disperse the fog’s effect: windy weather, fog-resonant bells, etc. Likewise, you don’t need to be ‘exposed’ to count as being in fog. If losing your protection would mean you were exposed to the fog, then you’re in the fog.

Foglift, fogfall

Between the hours of foglift and fogfall, being late morning to late afternoon, the fog is less dense and breathe-protection works fine. After fogfall, the fog thickens and its corrupting effects are intensified, reducing the length that breathe-protection works (-1 Phase).

During Thick fog, there is typically no foglift; while in a heatwave, there’s often no fogfall.

Breathe-protection

Typical breathe-protection is about filtering the air. Filters only work for a limited time; then they are become clogged up and befouled. If you don’t change filters after that time, then when you’re next in the fog you’re exposed and make a Blur roll.

Filters last a number of phases. Mark one phase use if used for any number of turns in an adventure phase or at any time during a camp, journey, or town phase.

If a filter is ever used after fogfall or in thick fog, it lasts one phase less. If it’s already the last phase of the filter, then it must be replaced before the end of the turn in an adventure phase or before the end of the phase during other phases. If it’s not replaced, then start the next turn/phase with a Blur roll.

Fog filter Cost Inventory Time Use
Scarf Ob 1 pack 1, worn/neck 1 1 Phase. End of phase roll a d6, works on 4–6. Headwrap
Zephyr fungus (3) hand/carried 1, pack 2 or pack 1 (1 only) 2 Phases Headwrap, Beak Mask
Fogfast sponge Ob 1 pack 1 3 Phases Beak Mask, Copper respirator
Fogfast crystal (2) Ob 2 pack 1 2 Phases Copper respirator

The following fog gear does not filter fog but is needed to actually use most filters.

Fog gear Cost Inventory Filtration Use
Beak mask Ob 2 head/worn 1, belt/weapon, or pack 2 Any filter except fogfast crystals. Can’t also wear a helmet. Works like a helmet on a roll of 4+.
Copper respirator Ob 4 head/worn, neck/worn, or pack 1. Any filter except zephyr fungus. May wear with a helmet.

Fog-infected

+1Ob Circles in Town as folk avoid the fog-infected.

Roll one die and add the result to your Blur degree. This will generate a number from 4 to 11. The first time you roll, you may choose which of the two infections you want. However, the next infection must be from the opposite category. The following time, you must take the infection from the other category, and so on.

If you ever roll and must take the same infection, remove it instead. Remove any ongoing effects (uncross Fresh, reset Might), but retain any changes already made (i.e. wise mark, sickness).

Roll result Primary infection Alternate infection
4 Burned eyes while in fog, full light blinds you. Counts as a factor in all tests except riddling. Bestial hunger double rations to recover from hungry thirsty
5 Eyes aglow while in fog, dim light counts a full light. Long fingers -1Ob Scavenging in fog.
6 Haggard cross out the Fresh condition. Booming your voice reverberates and projects loudly, no matter how you try to whisper. Can clear fog around you for one test per phase if vocal continuously.
7 Webbed nostrils can recover from hungry thirsty by breathing fog. Make a Blur roll too. Scarred mark a wise as if you had just used: I Am Wise to help pass a test, I Am Wise in a failed test, Deeper Understanding, or Of Course!
8 Malodorous exude fog through breathe and skin, you always count as in fog. Others nearby will too unless you wear protection. Fog lung +1Ob to Health/stealth tests, except recovery.
9 Predatory aura -1Ob Pathfinder or Hunter while in fog. Mucous skin can test to recover from exhausted out of camp by removing all gear in fog. Make a Blur roll too.
10 Consumption start each session with Sick condition. Feeble reduce Might by 1 while in fog (minimum 2).
11 Rock-ribbed +1 Might while in fog (maximum 4). Shakes free test when in camp in fog, not recovery.

Remove all infections if Blur reduces below 3. Any changes these infections have already made to the character are retained (i.e. wise marks, sickness). Ongoing effects are removed (uncross Fresh, reset Might).

Fog-eater

+1 Lifestyle in Town as folk refuse and avoid fog-eaters (along with +1Ob Circles from being fog-infected).

If you’re Blur 4 or higher, then you can gain fog-fresh if you leave a camp in the fog cleared all conditions. Fog-fresh grants +1D for all tests in fog. Likewise, if you die in the fog when you’re Blur 4 or higher, then you may ignore all penalties for dead while in fog and while your Blur remains 4 or higher.

When you hit Blur 4 or roll otherwise roll 4 on a Blur roll, you gain new fog-conditioning. You accumulate fog-conditioning in the following order, starting with fog-iron:

  • fog-iron ignore penalties for hungry and thirsty while in fog
  • fog-calm ignore penalties for angry while in fog
  • fog-courage ignore penalties for afraid while in fog
  • fog-endurance ignore penalties for exhausted while in fog
  • fog-tough ignore penalties for injured while in fog
  • fog-balm ignore penalties for sick while in fog

The Grind still works as normal. Fog-conditioning can only blunt the pain; the character will still suffer conditions. For example, if your character is hungry and thirsty on the fourth turn, even if they are fog-iron, they will still take the exhausted condition.

Remove all fog-conditioning if Blur drops below 4.

Fog-shade

Not welcome in Town. If discovered by the Watch, immediately end town phase for that player, as they are run out of town. Town phase may continue for other players.

1 Like
(Kashain) #2

So I read your blur and befogged posts. Before I comment on anything, may I ask what your explicit design goals are? Specifically, what emotions do you want players to feel and what behaviors do you want players to perform? Without knowing that, I can’t really give my opinion on if the design is accomplishing its goals.

(Oliver) #3

I want it to feel weird and strange, that folks don’t trust the foggy spaces between airholds. And I want players to take calculated risks with fog exposure.

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(Paul) #4

Ravenloft campaign, here I come.

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(Oliver) #5

I’ve added a few more explanations to the Blur rules:

  • how often to make a Blur roll
  • daily fog cycle, and
  • breathing gear to prevent fog exposure

How often to roll

Characters make a Blur roll once per new exposure to the fog, so when they leave the fog and then return into it. Wearing breathe-protection prevents exposure.

After the initial exposure, characters can keep breathing fog without needing to make another Blur roll. However, when characters fail tests while exposed to fog, the GM may ask them to make a Blur roll in addition to the twist or condition imposed.

Also, at the end of each phase—adventuring, camping, or journeying—the GM may ask for a Blur roll for anyone exposed to the fog.

Foglift, fogfall

Between the hours of foglift and fogfall, being late morning to late afternoon, the fog is less dense and breathe-protection works fine. After fogfall, the fog thickens and its corrupting effects are intensified, reducing the length that breathe-protection works (-1 Phase).

During Thick fog, there is typically no foglift; while in a heatwave, there’s often no fogfall.

Breathe-protection

Typical breathe-protection is about filtering the air. Filters only work for a limited time; then they are become clogged up and befouled. If you don’t change filters after that time, then when you’re next in the fog you’re exposed and make a Blur roll.

Filters last a number of phases. Mark one phase use if used for any number of turns in an adventure phase or at any time during a camp, journey, or town phase.

If a filter is ever used after fogfall or in thick fog, it lasts one phase less. If it’s already the last phase of the filter, then it must be replaced before the end of the turn in an adventure phase or before the end of the phase during other phases. If it’s not replaced, then start the next turn/phase with a Blur roll.

Fog filter Cost Inventory Time Use
Scarf Ob 1 pack 1, worn/neck 1 1 Phase. End of phase roll a d6, works on 4–6. Headwrap
Zephyr fungus (3) hand/carried 1, pack 2 or pack 1 (1 only) 2 Phases Headwrap, Beak Mask
Fogfast sponge Ob 1 pack 1 3 Phases Beak Mask, Copper respirator
Fogfast crystal (2) Ob 2 pack 1 2 Phases Copper respirator

The following fog gear does not filter fog but is needed to actually use most filters.

Fog gear Cost Inventory Filtration Use
Beak mask Ob 2 head/worn 1, belt/weapon, or pack 2 Any filter except fogfast crystals. Can’t also wear a helmet. Works like a helmet on a roll of 4+.
Copper respirator Ob 4 head/worn, neck/worn, or pack 1. Any filter except zephyr fungus. May wear with a helmet.