Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The House of the Axe: A Challenge

Your pulse is pounding, your knuckles seem bleached as you thrust your fist into the urn. There is a moment of quiet tension as your fingers linger over the smooth curves of the pebbles inside. 

You hesitate as your hand draws over one--then, unsure, another. A breathless mantra echoes through your head, “please, please, dear sweet Mother, please.”

The long, stern face of the Archon nods impatiently for you to get on with it. Slowly you withdraw your hand and uncurl the digits.


You cycle through a flurry of emotions.

Shock. You are now one of the Thirty. Grief. Your young life is likely to come to a short, sharp close as a sacrifice to the Bull-Beneath-the-Earth. Wild hope. Once a generation a handful of the chosen climb their way out of the House of the Axe battered, but alive. Resolute. I will fight, I will live to see the survivor's prize of lands and a hall in the new world beyond the obelisk.

It's game time, friends and comrades. Skype playtest game time that is.

I am looking for two teams of up to five players to play in at least one 3-4 hour Skype session. First team will likely roll on Saturday July 9, exact time TBA. Second team's lots come up on Wednesday July 13. (I already have one volunteer for the 9th and another for the 13th.)

The particulars:
  1. Players will roll up one zero-level character, a lot-chosen sacrifice to the Bull God destined to enter the House of the Axe. Starting characters will be generated using the variant system cobbled together here a few weeks back.

  2. If—or more likely—when a player's starting character dies they are allowed to play one of the pre-generated others of the Thirty. After that they are out of the game.

  3. Each character will be allowed to bring only what gifts from family and friends that they can carry on their back (gifts randomly determined by the GM).

  4. Each character also carries one secret, a piece of knowledge or identity wholly unique. Some may help the character, others the team as a whole—a few may bring great power to their holder and doom to others.

  5. Unlike in other role-playing games, there will be winners. The team that escapes with the most alive, gathers the most riches, and/or grabs the most glory will be hailed as the victor. One player from each team will be determined to be the “best in show” based on how well they face their skein. Prizes to be awarded, kudos to be heaped.

  6. All interested survivors will be invited to participate in a short series of Skype playtests (lucky you) in Autumn based on the later exploits of their characters in the Domain Game.

Who will take up the challenge?


  1. I've never tried gaming via Skype, but I've got a headset and I'm starving for a game. I'd be interested in the Saturday session. (Wednesday evenings are a no-go for me.)

  2. Honestly, CK, the set-up for this scares the piss out of me. However count me in for either game session.

  3. Kenny boy is just scared cuz he drops like flies in your games LOL. I have better sense and a fuller schedule so I will have to sit this one out.

  4. @Blizack and Kenneth
    Very cool, I will put you both down. (I will keep you as a bit of a floater, Kenneth, if you don't mind to see if one team is too light).

    I'm disappointed, I wanted to chance to kill you good and proper for a change.

  5. Hmm.

    I find myself intrigued.

    Put me in the definitely maybe column, pending more information.

    I'm an employed Australian Skype-Virgin and, as such, the saturday timeslot would suit me best.

    Hi by the way. I'm Trent, nice to meet you. I read your blog and don't comment. I uh.... I like to watch? Or something.

  6. Excellent. I likely have three more recruits out of our Skype group for Wednesday so that's looking pretty closed to full.

    Drop me a line at kutalik at gmail dot com for more details.

  7. Being a stage actor, I'm busy during the evening and nights (Pacific Coast Time), but put me down as a maybe, and I'll get back to you depending on what time you've chosen.

  8. Got you down Ian. In about a week I will have firm dates and times for each session. More info on the blog then.

  9. Hi, I just realized I never expressed a date preference in my first, exuberant, "hell yeah!" response. I actually would prefer Wed. 7/13, if possible.