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Heart: the City Beneath

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Within this frame narrative, the seven young women and three young men tell over a hundred stories about love.

The second is an indentured agent of the aelfir lord (Forced) who makes the mistake of picking up a badge of the 33rd and is now slowly being taken over by the idea that it's good to protect other people. Take your first steps into the City Beneath with this streamlined version of the rules for the Heart RPG. Mostly, characters will find, scavenge or steal resources from the people, creatures and places they find on their travels. This isn’t Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings; you’re not movers and shakers of the world: you’re desperate people in a desperate situation, and every now and then you have to make a last stand.To family they began to refer to themself as Sucks-Down-Teeth, a name that was never openly acknowledged. Played straight with Signal Box Cultists, hostile fanatics who modify themselves with fragments of Vermissian materials and technology. They have two Core Abilites; Heartsblood gives them a minimum protection value for all resistances equal to the Tier they're currently on (0 for the City Above, 4 for the Heart itself), making them tougher the deeper they go. The Zenith ability 'Ascension' allows a Heretic to assume the form of an Angel of the Moon Beneath, wreaking havoc in Her name before becoming a bone-crystal statue.

Description: Trekking through walkways suspended over still lakes, or raging torrents – creaking at the wind that blows through them. And some brave — or foolish — souls choose to delve further into the darkness, seeking treasure or glory. Obviously the main change is the available skills are mostly different, with the exception of Sneak and Compel. Consum‐ ing resources requires your attention and leaves you exposed, so doing it successfully in stressful situations (such as combat) could require a Sneak or Evade roll.Above ground, dark elves struggle to free themselves from the colonialist oppression of aelfir, gnolls fight for their independence, and humans are just doing their own archeotech thing.

Heart takes place beneath it, in a space into which the eponymous alien dimension has begun to bleed. Shout-Out: The cursed and completely inaccessible Vermissian station 'Crescent of the Morning' is a shout out to I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue's Mornington Crescent game and, via that, to the real-life London underground station of the same name. Now reality beneath the city is weakened and warped, becoming dangerously fluid as you approach the Heart itself. Unfortunately, mazes and labyrinths elsewhere weaken the walls of its prison and can become gateways for it. Domains are also areas of experience, and you also either have them, or you don't, but they're broad categories relating to different areas of the Heart (and the things that live there).

Some people spend their whole lives beneath the city, living as best they can in the undercity's more stable areas. Their Major abilities are Descent - using the Grey to break into one (or more) of the eight Heavens, either though ritual or brute force, Echoes which lets them see a ghostly recreation of the past, Invidious Spectre - their death manifests as poltergeist activity, Reaper's Strike - give up Blood protection to add it to stress inflicted and Sudden Death which let's them dive into the Grey without the prerequisite rituals. Heart is a game set in the same world as the Spire RPG - in fact, it’s set underneath the city of Spire itself in the mad, shifting chasms and ruins known as the Heart. If the roll is less or equal to the total stress the character has, they suffer a Fallout, minor on a roll of 6 or less, major otherwise. One of the games that ended up on my radar a while back – due to the Modifier podcast (the episode itself is missing from the podcast’s own page, which is strange,) which has pointed me towards more interesting games than just about any other source thus far – is Heart.

Just like combat, this is very swingy: normally you inflict 1d4 stress, with a typical delve having 8-12 resistance. Zenith beats, like the final secret one I mentioned, are very hard to achieve, and not everyone will manage to do so before their untimely but likely deserved death.It's a pain to get rid of - I'll go into that later, but it generally requires the sacrifice of various resources, or some class abilities to get rid of it. Plus Grant and Chris have done something similar to Kieron Gillan's Die in that they've subverted the traditional party roles in interesting ways. Also, this is based on an adventure seed in the actual book – there are loads of them in there – but fleshed-out to be runnable for a one-shot. One of the reasons for this rule was giving meaning to delve items: grappling hooks, compasses, air-tanks, etc. And there’s no random encounter tables or even a roll to suggest the nature of the next obstacle – which is fine so long as the GM/Heart knows what should happen next, but leaves them floundering otherwise.

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