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One shot RPG.

Everyone is handed a pregen with three things on it:
ToDo: Divination, as run, was too powerful.  I do want there to be 'sense' as one of the spheres - but its mystical element needs tidying up, without making its non-mystical ability the be-all and end-all (and thus, crappy)
ToDo: Yeah, better check on those Egyptian correspondences.
If fewer players are playing, give each player more areas of ability.

Note: Egyptian magic is primarily name-based, and in legend a powerful mage could command the gods themselves.

The game starts with the players giving (each other?) the heads of various animals.  I played this game silly, but serious play is an option.

They emerge into awareness inside the burial chamber.  It is filled with gold and artifacts, and there is a sarcophagus, in which lies the mummy.  The sarcophagus has been cracked open.

The players know NOTHING except that which is on their sheets, and vague memories of life as a queen in egypt.  Incidentally, the memories of her death are drowning in a bath of asses milk.  And that her main job was lounging on the throne and causing the sun to rise by waking up in the morning.

Right, setting.  You're dead.  You're all parts of the spirit of a long dead queen.  The spirit has been shatterred by GraveRobbers? breaking into her tomb and stealing her heart.

Quickly, they become aware that:

Slightly less quickly they become aware that:

The first phase of the game is thus - learning how to usefully control a mummy.  Play up its shambling (except when 'movement' is in control), its moaning speech (except when 'communication' has it) and so forth.
Whenever someone is forcibly kicked out, the mummy freezes in whatever it was doing, and probably falls over.
If it is peacefully vacated, it just stands still.

Don't forget the artifacts in the tomb!  I managed to get my players really riled up and indignant that they didn't have real buried slaves and animals, only golden copies - and when I mixed my myths and had their army be GoldPlated? terracotta rather than solid... well.
Anyway - don't forget that these are supposed to be things they can take with them into the next world.  Give the spirits the power to bring them to life - whilst the appropriate spirit is in control.  Some of it (weapons and armour and symbols of rank and such) can be physically picked up by the mummy.

ToDo: List of Stuff.  Players love lists of stuff.  Things that worked were the chariot (And how do we get a full chariot out?!) golden statuettes of lions and horses and camels (and yes, they activated them in the cramped burial chamber) - the army was perhaps overkill.  A barge (statue), weapons and armour (mirror signalling with a silver shield was a nice trick) - and the holy candy-cane thingy.
Lots of cash, of course - though lots more is missing.

Next up - navigate the mummy out of the tomb.
First problem - a mazy bit of corridor which is dark.  And carrying a torch isn't a spectacularly smart idea.  This led to the first bit of spirit-switching, as they brought the eyes in for a look around, then switched back to the legs.

Remember that the traps will have been sprung by the grave-robbers.
I had a block of stone that had crushed one, and some spiked doors which they had wedged open with a bronze spear.

At this point, as they emerge into the moonlit night, you can dramatically announce "And thus, you escape from the mummy's tommmb!" to groans all around.  Then go get a drink.

Because this next section of the game didn't work so well.

First up was tracking down the raiders.  My group went with overawing them and declaring them slaves.
They then had a bit of an argument about what to do with them (several were in favour of shutting them up in the tomb)
Then it is revealed that the raiders were brought along by "A powerful guy with an impressive beard and blue beads in his hair" - my initial idea was that this was some mage in the employ of one who wishes to gain the throne ahead of time.

The night doesn't end, the moon does not set.
..Carthage must fall! ;) - MoonShadow
Carthage FELL DOWN!  --Vitenka (How did I not spot that one sooner?)

Then they went up to the city and seized the throne - and I really need to apply some planning to this bit.  Maybe a fight scene, directing their bodyguards against the living guards?

Anyway - that's what I've got.

Let them take the throne after a big battle. Night doesn't end, moon doesn't set. Crops start wilting, people start dying. They find out (how?) that the night won't end while the mummy is (only) partially possessed (why?). They have the choice of (questing to obtain before?) using a McGuffin to recombine themselves, at which point the combined old queen controls the mummy, sun rises, she rules (end scene - though it's a victory overall, their individual personalities dissolve, game over); or bickering over ruling a dying world (with an optional uprising by crowd coming to torch the mummy; either mummy destroyed or everyone else dies, game over); or agreeing to destroy the mummy so none of them can possess it (game over, but people remember them well so sort of victory).. - MoonShadow
Oh, yes - this was the ending they went for anyway - they sat on the throne, and enjoyed life as an undead queen ruling a kingdom of night.  They all knew where their heart was.  The one player who  wanted to return the heart and (they guessed, expire the mummy) was outvoted and forcibly held out of the body!  I was more wondering about the 'how' - the ending just seemed uninspired in play (we walk into the palace, intimidate the guards and, um, game over?) compared to the previous stuff.  You're deff. thinking along the right lines for an EvilGM? though :)  --Vitenka

Doh!  The correct ending, is, obviously, that it is another mummy that stole the kingdom and the heart.  Leading to a RockPaperScissors battle of multiple possession and much confusion.  --Vitenka
Note that this game was originally intended to be an intro to a particularly mad Exalted RipOff? of JuuniKokki(!) - the main game being the players trying to guide a particularly annoying PrincessFromAnotherWorld? to depose the mummy that has taken the throne and holds the kingdom in PerpetualNight?.  --Vitenka (Never ran it)

Game 2

I love having multiple Zero-prep RPGs ready to run.  I ran this again last night, to great success for a bunch of players who turned up unexpectedly.  One of whom had never played before.  They'll be playing DnD? next week.

Ok, variations.  First of all - no goal cards.
Second of all, characters were generated by the old paper-game.  One player writes an animal on the paper, folds it over, passes it on - next player writes a body part, passes it on etc.
(Slight bug there - two wrote the same body part, feet!  I changed one to 'arms' and one to 'legs' - and gave 'eyes' the whole head)

So - the players are heroes of the ancient egyptian age.  They ascended the temple, and slew the dark queen who had held egypts sun her prisoner and plunged the land into an eternal darkness for a thousand years (yep, the random contradictions were on purpose)
Then they had a huge party as the sun rose, drank deep of her wines and... remember nothing more.

They awaken.  They have the heads of animals.  It is very dark.

They're inside a box, and can't seem to touch anything except each other.

The rules, as they discover (eventually) are that they can't get very far from the mummy, feeling a bungie-cord effect if they try (for a long time they thought it was the jars)

The only thing they can touch are the copic jars.  (They get out of the box by walking through the walls.)
Inside the jars are, of course, their body parts.  (Tendons for arms and legs)
After touching the parts, they then find that they posess the mummy when they touch it - with the same 'low control over the whole thing, good control over their bit' as above.
Although they can't control bits whose jars haven't been opened at all, yet.

Breaking out of their unadorned chamber, they find the queens chamber - with disturbed treasures.  Whichever treasure they touch FIRST vanishes (and reappears in the mummies hands when they control the mummy)
Treasures are described as 'everything' - I came up with a bunch of stuff including swords, shields, mummified cats, chariot, golden horsies, crooks, piles of coins...

Big mural (that they ignored) saying, in heiroglyph, "My servants shall never rest until you who disturb my tomb has been destroyed" - this was the intended plot, that the PCs would kill the graverobbers in order to get out of having to control the mummy.  I had visions of them pursuing across the atlantic and chasing a giant gemstone and... anyway.  They missed it, so we did this instead:

There's some crappy traps, mostly already triggered.  Plan how much you want by time available - I had a pit and a boulder, both pre-triggered by the grave-robbers that had come before.

Then they go out into the desert, finding tracks.  I let them freeform here (and really need to plan this bit better next time) - eventually they went to the graverobbers camp and found it to be 1926 and people wearing desert khkaki and bowler hats.

They found the queen mummy.  The queen had no tongue (random details are great) and she had killed a graverobber/archaeologist.  They decided to kick her butt.

And here begins the strangest combat I have ever run, and that includes the one with six inch fuzzy things with machineguns (see Vitenka/Phagocyte )

Rules are: Any spirit touching a mummy kicks out the occupant and takes over their bit.  Queeny starts off inside her own mummy - and can control ALL the bits of a mummy.  She can also choose one of the treasures she has to appear.  But the first time she's kicked out of the mummy she falls over and drops it all.
(I added that the players can steal a single treasure from THIS pile, each too - because one had lost their earlier treasure.  This worked REALLY well.  The queen has an ankh-staff, a golden lion statuette (which becomes a real live full-size lion), another chariot, a mummified cat, a bumpy shield and a glowing magical orb of rulership thingy that probably does something magical but I didn't have to decide what)

The players then kicked her ass all over town.  (The solution I came up with was that the players had to somehow stop her from posessing the mummies and then beat her up spiritually.  That's what the players did - but any solution that comes at about the right point in time should work.)

The players had great (and confusing) fun - discovering that they were attacking the wrong person (because they'd switched again) and so forth.  Attacks included smacking the other mummy upside the head with an angry lion.  And, sensibly "I stand here and try to figure out what the heck is going on."

Eventually, I declared that they had no only escaped from themummies tomb (groans) but allso defeated the mummies curse and the game was over.

Everyone had fun.  Good, clean, simple and short.  Currently 2 fun sessions for 2 attempts.

Another PlayTest?:  Abilities were given out via the golden burial goods.  Goals were more sturctured (power vs knowledge, cursing vs blessing, eternal life vs kingom eternal) and murals gave hints as to how this was to be acheived.  There was an impending ecipse and we got all the way to the climactic end battle.  The "How does the mummy work" bit was quite short, since they were struggling with the "darkness" thing, I allowed "I cause the sun to rise" to work and made the ghosties glow.
Addition of worshipper/tomb robbers worked well, much "Smite them! SMIIITE THEM!" shouting - and I'm very glad I made the end boss negotiable, they nearly went with it.  Making the ghosts at the end initially invisible was ok, but I had to make them visible myself.
The chariot needs to come with golden steeds and the tomb needs ot be more linear.  Also, realism be damned, it should be a pyramid - this is a B-Movie.


"Make sure that pit isn't structural"
"That was a load-bearing trap"

"Do we gain a level?"
"You've got a mummy.  You don't need levels."

{exasperated} "You're using the crook of office as a 10' pole."

player1: "What is the function of the deathmask?"
player2: "So that you can tell that they're dead."
spirit of the staircase: "Couldn't you just ask them?"

"Zap it {the sun} with our sun killing powers!"
"Ack!  Sun healing powers!"


I've been wanting to do a sequel (where the murdered archaeologists rise up and overthrow the undead queen who has shrouded the world in a thousand years of darkness) - but it never seemed to quite gel.  I wished to channel 12-kingdoms.

Until someone asked how to run a game with one 'stranger' and lots of 'natives' and build the world as you went.  [rpg.net thread]


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