GEAS: An interactive playtest
Edit: OCTOBER 2020: This playthrough uses placeholder art, with two players, Alunjo and Krull. The Architect is the "Dungeon Master" whose role is neutral - but when finished Geas will also be playable solo without one. The world is governed by two energies, Form and Force, one acting upon another. Almost every roll compares a force total rolled on 2d6 with the form roll 2d6 - the higher one succeeding. Attribute bonuses are added to these rolls for advantage. Chance (Synchronicity) intervenes when doubles are rolled. A video will be made in the near future.
Following a tip-off from an archaeological Imperial scholar who scurried off with his yellow coin to get a drink - you and your companion headed off in the other direction into Witchfinger Woods seeking the abandoned archaeological dig site he mentioned. You locate the ruined stone wall as promised and make your way inside.
1:AT THE DOOR
Carefully picking your way past the loose brick masonry which crumbles as you enter you emerge into a mossy stone room, the remains of an ancient throne centrered in the floor, flanked by floor to ceiling pillars and leering statues.
2. INSIDE THE TEMPLE
According to the scholar, although the team of archaeologists were able to move one of the statues to reveal a hidden switch and rotate the throne to reveal a secret stone door - age has greatly wearied the mechanism and the door had remained firmly stuck, open just a crack - beyond which lay impenetrable darkness. After several days effort the team gave up and left the site - never to return.
"This should be easy" remarked Alunjo. "I can use my special ability to Contort and get through that space and try to open it from the other side for you."
"Wait - we should check to see if there are any traps the archaeologists left behind or didn't spring" whispered Krull, touching the arm of his companion in warning and pointing to the statues beyond.
Architect" "Alright, please roll your Force and add your Perception score to the total. Anytime a character attempts a visual action or EXAMINES an object they will add their perception score to the roll."
Krull uses 1 of his 2 Actions and Rolled 8 / Even Force (double 4's) with his +3 Perception bonus giving a total of 11.
The Architect rolls Form for the Temple Search also resulting in (double 4's). "The search required an 8 so your search attempt is successful. Note that if your total was an 8, with your Force matching the tasks Form, you would have failed because your force must Always be Higher than not Equal to the opposing roll."
3. CHECKING FOR TRAPS
"You find no traps" says the Architect - "but your search did reveal a very old and well hidden Stone door over here in the corner."
4. A DISCOVERY
"Interesting. I'll move over to it using my movement of 12 - using 8 squares and examine it with my 2nd action."
"OK, roll your Force" says the Architect.
"7 + 3 for Perception gives me 10". says Krull.
The Architect rolls the Form required for the examination. "6" - you are successful. "Wiping away some of the thick dust covering the door you notice it is inscribed with some text. (Stone Door is swapped out for Ancient Script marker).
5 ANCIENT SCRIPT
"Interesting" says Krull. I'll stay where I am and end my turn.
"I'm going to go over to the Stuck Door and use Contort to try and get through the narrow gap" says Alunjo, moving 7 of his 10 to get to the door.
"OK, you don't have to make any roll when your specific Pathskill fits a specific environmental terrain requirement - Contort lets you get through small gaps and you easily squeeze through" says the Architect.
"However, once through it is completely dark on this side of the door, you can see nothing but blackness - this is a Dark Area, movement is halved and damage is doubled here unless you have Night Eye or a light source. [Architect places DARKNESS Environment Tile indicating where the area of dark begins to apply a penalty]"
6. STARING INTO DARKNESS
"OK, so I won't bother moving since I only get one more square, and if I step on anything I can't see I'm probably dead. Uhm... *checks inventory*,"ok for my 2nd action I'll light one of my torches, I have 3." says Alunjo.
7. CHECKING INVENTORY
Architect: "Alright great, you light a torch using your flint which gives you a LIGHTREACH of 4, meaning, 4 spaces in front and four spaces behind and to the sides of you - your light limit reaches to here (places marker near corridor) and this is what you see" says the Architect. "Old tree roots poking through the crumbling cavern walls and to your right what looks like a canvas tent."
8. SOMEONE CAME BACK
"Hey! I thought that team didn't get past this door... looks like someone came back when the others had gone. Anyway that's the end of my turn" says Alunjo.
"I'd like to use one of my actions to SHOUT at Alunjo and find out what he is seeing on the other side of that door." says Krull
"Ugh. I rolled a force of 2"
"Don't forget to add your base Force score - which is applied as a bonus anytime you attempt an Action not covered by your other attribute bonuses, as well as in combat" says the Architect.
"Well alright my base force is 2, so that makes my force roll 4" says Krull.
"If I roll 2 or 3 for Form you will succeed - a 4 will meet your force and cancel your action out - anything higher will simply cause it to fail. I rolled a 7 and your shout could not be heard clearly by Alunjo." says the Architect.
"Damn. Oh well... hm. I'm going to use my wisdom to try and read the script with my 2nd action"
"OK Roll Force + your wisdom of 4."
"7 + 4 gives me 11"
"OK, and the form of the Script is... 9. So you are able to read it - it speaks of a mythic god worshipped here before the Temple was taken over by a jungle tribe and the altar of the god sealed away behind this door"
9. GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
"Oh really? OK, well I will stay where I am for now." says Krull.
"Alright the first thing I want to do is examine that tent please". says Alunjo.
"OK, note how the tent is marked with a green border (not shown) which indicates you can search it. You see a tattered leather bag and open it up, first draw a treasure card" says the Architect.
"Oh sweet, this card lets me ignore damage from any one single trap!" says Alunjo.
10. MISSED ME
"Nice, keep that tucked away, if the situation arises you can use that card then" says the Architect. "There are also some faded papers inside the bag with rough charcoal sketches though time has weathered them beyond ability to read, the rest of the tent which is bare except for some very old food."
"OK, well I'd like to move over here and try and harvest some of these tree roots next" says Alunjo.
"Ok, you are attempting to GATHER RESOURCES, roll your Force and add your Ingenuity score, please". says the Architect.
"Er, I don't have one, I have a 0 there."
"OK, just roll your force then".
"The form of the roots is 12 Even Force (double 6's) and you are unsuccessful. The roots are too firmly dug in". says the Architect.
11. HARVESTING WEALD
"OK, well I'll use my remaining movement to head this way..." says Alunjo.
"Alright, as you approach the mouth of this corridor your light shines upon an abrupt end to the stone floor and a long deep ravine stretches out before you" says the Architect.
12. A BLACK VOID
"Damn it. OK, Thats my turn done" says Alunjo.
"Right then I'm going to try and open the door. I rolled a 9, oh but I get to add 2 for my Force bonus, so I have a total of 11." says Krull.
"The doors form is a 3, and it is not difficult for you to push on the heavy door and swing it open into yawning darkness. From where you are you can see a large spiderweb and some old vases or jars in a corner of this room." says the Architect.
13. THE DOOR OPENS
"I'll also light a torch for my 2nd action"
"And move to the doorway."
"OK, you can see enormous spider webs draped right across this room" says the Architect.
"OK, I'll move one more square in and finish my turn"
"This is what you see" says the Architect
14 THE SECRET ROOM
"I'll come back through the stuck door, using 8 of my movement, do I need to roll to get back through the door? No? OK, I can't get all the way over to you Krull so I'm going move next to it and search the Throne, I don't think we did that when we came in."
"Alright - you are in a RUINED ROOM, ordinarily there is nothing to search in these as its all been cleared out, rotted or useless and you need to find REGULAR or RICH rooms to search. However as you can see the Throne is marked with a Green Border (not shown) which means you can search it once. You start searching the throne, please draw a treasure card" says the Architect.
15. SEARCHING THE THRONE
"Oh damn! I caught a disease! That can't be good - ok well I won't use my 2nd action and will just move toward the door where Krull is and end my turn."
"OK, place that in your Afflictions slot and I'll take one point from your Sorcery per day until you get cured" says the Architect.
KRULL "OK well for my first action I want to burn this web in front of me. Do I roll force?"
"No - not with fire in your hand as it requires no effort to burn webs. It burns easily, leaving orange trails of embers and a smell of acrid smoke."
"Great! They burn, ok I want to move here and burn the big one too as my 2nd action."
"The big one goes up in flames and some sizable black objects skitter off into the darkness, probably spiders" - but underneath the dense carpet of web you find something quite intriguing, a stone trapdoor with a bronze ring set into the floor" says the Architect.
16. BURNING THE WEBS
"Oh really? I'll move over to it and end my turn"
"OK, well I am heading into the room Krull is in... and I want to examine one of these vases since they have the green border. Oh damn my treasure card says I found nothing. Hm. OK, then I want to move over here, and try to lift the trapdoor open for my 2nd action."
"Alright, your attempt to lift the ring is a MOVE FURNITURE action so roll your force and add your base force." says the Architect.
"My force roll is 7 and my force bonus is 3, total of 10"
"The trapdoors form is 7, so you successfully open it revealing a ladder going down - but as you do there is a whining sound and a massive blade comes whirring out of the darkness heading right for you - you've activated a trap" says the Architect.
"Uh oh, I... will... use my 'Missed Me' card to avoid it!"
"Well played - some cards do allow you to act without rolling doubles, this is one of them. [takes card and discards it] luckily for you it seems the trap has misaligned over the centuries and it stops just short of your position clattering harmlessly onto the floor. It looks like it would have done nasty damage if it was working properly."
17. A NARROW ESCAPE
"Try to be more careful around here Alunjo, there might be more of that" says Krull.
"Right you are, well that's the end of my turn I'll stay put".
"Well, I guess I'll climb down the ladder as my first action and see where it goes" says Krull.
"OK, you climb down the ladder into a narrow musty passage dimly lit with some kind of floating light specks and emerge after some time, here, from another ladder - into a dimly lit dripping cave with stalactites and clusters of mushrooms. A ramp on the other side leads upward into the light. This looks like it might have been an escape tunnel at some point in its past, but you also notice you are not alone.
18. WHATS THAT OVER THERE
"An adolescent CHAIMOC squats nearby and it eyes you and growls as you emerge into its lair. Present your dice, then Set and Lock your V20 (A d20 that tracks a players Vigor Point total) and Roll for First Blood to see who reacts first" says the Architect.
19. NICE KITTY
"OK, I got an 8, + my force bonus of 2 gives me 10."
"Do you have Quickening?" says the Architect.
"No, I don't".
"I rolled a 6. Luckily for you the chaimoc is not as nimble and you get First Blood, you can perform 1 action and move - what would you like to do?"
"Hm, what are my options?"
"Check your Character Card where what you can do is listed. It also indicates which attribute bonuses are applied to which type of actions."
"OK... well I will fire an arrow at it."
"Alright roll your force and add your own base force to the roll to see if you land the shot"
"5 Force +2 bonus is 7"
"I rolled 11 Form - your shot misses in the gloom and bounces harmlessly off a stalagmite"
"Alright I am rolling the Chaimoc's tactic." says the Architect.
20 TACTIC 16 LOW BLOW
"It's a 16, which means the Chaimoc attempts a targeted low-blow that will do double damage if it lands. The creature moves adjacent to you and tries its attack. It rolls a 9, please roll your form"
"Ergh, I rolled a 6" says Krull.
Architect: "Plus your natural form of +2 gives you 8. Your Base Form bonus is always applied in combat or on any Action where another attribute is not already specified" says the Architect.
"The Chaimoc connects with a punishing low-blow, and double damage, doing a total of 4 VP damage."
"Oh man, that hurt, I'm down to 2 VP"
"Ok, my turn" says Krull "take this you jerk! Yes! I rolled 12 Even Force, (double sixes) -"
"OK, first lets see if the Chaimoc defends by matching your twelve. It rolled an 8, so no. You have hit the Chaimoc, and you do 2 damage with your close-range weapon, the shortword, - but, by rolling doubles you have invoked Synchronicity - you can now use your INFLUENCE, which means the only time you can play an Action Card or use a Special Tactic in combat. Start with picking up a WMSI card matching your type of doubles, which with double sixes is a Strong Event"
21. TURNING THE TIDE
"Wow, awesome, this card lets me shove back my opponent 2 squares. I'm totally doing that" says Krull.
22. BACK OFF FOUL BEAST
"OK, discard it, I've taken 2 VP off the chaimoc for the shortword swipe and I will move it back two squares on account of your Synchronicity, which disengages you from direct combat without penalty"
"Does that mean I can run away?" says Krull
"Yes it does, you can escape down the ladder if you wish to do so, or fire another ranged shot"
A video is in development to showcase the enormity of this game, of which the above only illustrates a very basic set of the principles. Subscribe to be notified of new developments or join my Facebook Page Geas: Broken Gods where you can keep up with this project.
GEAS: Broken Gods World Dungeon Crawler is being built inside Tabletop Simulator (TTS) with placeholder furnishings and card art but a largely intact working system. This initial playtest inside TTS allows me to finally actually simulate play (given that printing the components is not presently an option) iron out the details and see if all of the pieces are moving together as expected and since its almost certain they won't be, identify issues to improve the prototype.