So we finished the Usurpation phase and it was fantastic and intense.
I’m GMing the Vaylen side and we lost. But only by a little - a major compromise is ours. They have forced one on my GMFoNs out of play and though we did not plunge the planet into anarchy, as intended, there is now a civil war.
A few sessions before the phase ended, the worm in the targeted GMFoN, the Cotar Fomas, jumped bodies into a daughter of the dominant royal House. In the final session, the Cotar Fomas’ preserved body was found and destroyed. But the intent is not just about his physical body, right? It’s about the worm, too, even though it’s alive a well in a new body?
According to p.409, “this intent indicates the FoN does not affect the disposition of his favored side during his featured phase.”
Okay, so in Invasion phase, he/she won’t get to add to the dispo. JUST TO BE CLEAR, does “affect the disposition” also include making or helping with maneuver rolls?
just the overall disposition roll for the phase, which can be a huge advantage to the Human side if they role well… kudos to them…
they can still roll for maneuvers if they are alive.
That’s a relief. Things are looking rather grim for the Vaylen to start, with all of the rewards that come with winning a phase, so I’m glad every maneuver will not also be handicapped! Come the think of it, that would make the objective way over-powered when you consider the other objectives.
What did you get with your major compromise? Often, shifting one of the planetary attitudes in a direction that’s helpful to you and harmful to your enemies is the best thing you can get.
Thor - that’s another point I’m a bit confused by: just what counts as a major compromise. I’m used to figuring out compromise on a fictional level, but not as much so on a meta level. So I was going for changing the dominate government to anarchic. There were three major factions of power, with further divides between a couple of them, but the nobles still had much of the power in people’s minds. So I wanted to push on that and go for anarchy - it would have helped my dispo a little, too. The fictional compromise is that there is now civil war - having nothing to do with the Vaylen who will be showing up in force. It has the added edge of pitting one PC FoN against the other two (which is a hit to their help, although they’ll probably find a way to patch that up, once there’s no question of the Vaylen threat…).
On a meta level, shifting the planetary attitude is clever, but in my case, the attitude is already Indifferent, so that’s good for me, and the options on either side would not be. They pushed for 3.5 years of downtime. I get half by default, so I pushed on that a little for 2 full years.
Would you push for more? Or something else? I really don’t have a strong sense of what’s fair here since this is the first phase I’ve actually finished and a lot of the subtleties of the mechanics are clicking together in my head as I go.
So compromise in BE is a little different than compromise in BW. In BE you have two choices: You can use your compromise to get partway to the goal you lost. Or you can use your compromise to diminish the goal of the winners. With a major compromise, you might, for instance, stipulate that your FoN is forced out and can’t make the roll to add disposition for the Invasion conflict, but maybe the worm jumps into the body of another militarily powerful NPC and continues to have scenes as before. With a major compromise, they won by the merest sliver. It’s a Pyrrhic victory. What does that look like?
Ooookay. Huh. Thanks - that does clarify.
I was thinking that with the added rewards of slight boost to their dispo from what’s leftover (not much, but a +2 certainly helps), Deeds artha for all of them, and all that downtime, their winning the phase already has pretty serious implications for my side, Objective aside (Uhhhg - the Deeds alone - they could end Invasion so fast if the Fates allow).
Yeah, I’ll have to think about this. The civil war is serious for them, but I’ve also lost my military might. Well, my Psychologist is the leader of the slave revolution, but they have little in the way of serious weapons and armor as of now. The former Cotar Fomas’ worm is now in the important and honored position of surrogate for her ruling sister, so she does have a key position inside the ruling noble house, though not a military one.
So this brings me to another thing I’ve been wondering about. Just how important is major military might for FoNs, really? I don’t mean this flippantly, because I know it’s a major facet of BE, but the Infection mechanics take care of a lot of the bigger trends, so as long as the FoNs are involved, does it matter if the focus of the game is more about politics and family drama within the warring framework than about the military campaigns themselves?
My sense of the game is that it doesn’t matter, not entirely, anyway - Beliefs largely scale what the conflict is about.
But after a break we’ll be heading into the Invasion phase and my powerful Invasion GMFoN is dead (though the worm has moved to the above mentioned body). The Vaylen will be invading in force, but my ties to them to start are mechanically weak, so it’s mostly color unless I jump bodies (which may happen at some point). Does that matter? Am I missing something?
Work is super busy today, so I don’t currently have time for a long response. But I will note that your planet-side military may be out of the picture, but you’re in the invasion now. It’s not about hiding and secrecy and subversion. Now the Vaylen show their fist. They bring in battle cruisers full of genetically designed killing machines. This is war. Track down their leaders and kill them. Hull entire cities and put the new Vaylen on the front lines. Round up their loved ones. Turn the very planet against them by implanting naiven in dangerous wildlife. Bombard their strongholds from space.
That’s quite helpful - thanks, Thor.
I am now even more excited about Invasion. I guess I’ve been having trouble wrapping my mind around what it looks like practically to be drawing in and pushing forward a Vaylen Invasion without an obvious military figurehead to start. So a lot of that starts with Maneuver intents, I suppose (using your examples): battle cruisers full of genetically designed killing machines, entire cities hulled, strongholds bombarded from space, the planet turned against them, etc., and perhaps even round up loved ones. On a scene-by-scene level, I can handle more things along the lines of: track down leaders and kill/hull them, round up loved ones, Circle important Vaylen individuals, buy important equipment, lead Firefights, etc. Eventually, I think, there would be a more solid Vaylen presence to use scene-by-scene, too. My existing Vaylen would change roles (and jump bodies, if need be) to align themselves with the Invasion, and my Psychologist will go along with it if his beloved slave brotherhood is already hulled…hmm - lots to think about!
the system makes it easy for you to get your military vaylen master – use your remaining circles to buy one in your first scene. doesn’t even require a roll. best way to make your players quake in the first scene. it’s like opening up a season of a television show by introducing a militant white supremacist army (thank you Henry Rollins/Sons of Anarchy).
make sure they are ripped enough to kick the human sides butt in a firefight. that’s all story stuff so it’s fair game, even though it may feel like cheating. the maneuver rolls are where the humans may have a PC, but at least that free military vaylen leader can make it hurt storywise, even if you do lose maneuvers.
DUDE. Yes, that will be so perfect, both in terms of the fiction and in giving me a solid mechanical presence to sink my teeth into, even if he/she’s not actually doing the maneuver rolls. Of course, said badass could be a future body jump (yay, cannibalism!) but he/she may be more valuable as a diversion. Gah - so excited to start this Invasion! Thanks Jonathan & Thor!