The MOOON CROWN

So, the Moon Crown special mission has come up for our gang in Talgon Forest, and I’d love to hear how anyone else who had it in their game handled it. @stras any pointers? I have some notions, and I’m comfortable mucking with things to add Weave to the game, but I’d also love some other ideas to percolate for next week.

@JimLikesGames Depends on the story you’re legion is telling as it were.

I’ve seen a giant forest serpent wrapped around it who demanded a sacrifice from a panyar. I’ve seen pieces of the moon still raining down in that spot, with ghosts only affected by silver (commander happened to have a silver knife via their ability) or blackshot (run like Aliens or that one ghosty netflix movie).

You can make it puzzly with the touch of the gods, or more action oriented based on who your Chosen is and what themes you’re exploring.

Let me know if you have specific questions (like obstacles I can suggest) and I’ll chime in more.

–Stras

We just did this mission in our group. We are running with the Horned One, really playing up the supernatural, non-military elements. The first part of the adventure dealt with navigating the Talgon Forest, and the second part dealt with the moon crash site.

Our guardians were out of this world. They were all translucent shimmery silvery beings with jagged fractal edges. Most of them were tentacular with many limbs, and a few them were pentagonal. We ended up communicating them mind to mind (desperate research for the win) and learned that they were from the moon, and crashed down with the moon fragments when Nyx was broken. They themselves were uncorrupted and very lost.

After attuning ourselves with the moonies, we ended up filling them in on the Cinder King and other assorted things in our world. The leader (who was wearing the lunar crown) then led a ritual, where we supplied copious amounts of blood, that ended up launched the main moon fragment, the size of a large wagon, back to the moon, consuming the life/moon force of the leader in the process. Speaking for myself, I found the session to be amazing and quite different from our missions, but very much on theme for our story so far.

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I’m less worried about the Mission proper, I have no worries about being able to make that compelling; it’s after the fact with working Weave into the game and how that works; does the Mercy become a playable PC? Should I create a custom playbook, or just add Wave to an existing Specialist?

I think it’s most interesting as a character choice. Having one of the existing Legionnaire PCs put it on and giving them a point of weave as they are inevitably changed by their connection to the divine artifact.

Does someone on the mission take up the crown? Does it go into the quartermaster’s box of treasures until the legion needs some supernatural oomph? The Crown has a price and changes you–who is willing to go through that, with or without orders?

@JimLikesGames - weave is on every specialist sheet. If you buy weave it’s like any specialist ability. You can’t learn it without some fictional connection to a power. It forms a pool for fortune rolls, and gives you uses (like how you spend anchor uses). What you’re connected to determines what those uses DO.

So let’s talk crown. The book says that you can “weave moonlight to purify, or to reveal the unseen”. So in this case you spend XP for weave points (maybe give them a few free ticks at the end of the mission if it seems apropos), and the person with the crown attached to their skull can spend them for something like that. The exact details are up to your table. Can they cut through Blighter’s gas, rendering some of the toxic fields safe? Is it purification in an abstract sense—like if they use it on a person would it push a bullet out, or remove tattoos? If your group is lost can the moonlight create a path out? Push back the darkness of the Maw? Shine from the broken moon in the heavens on an enemy unit hunting you? I don’t know. This is up to your game and how you’ve established the fiction. You should leave it loose so they can figure out how to use it on a given mission (rather than a specific spell list). But it should be cool … and not some weird offensive fireball type thing.

A mercy (for example) is someone connected to Shreya, and has nothing to do with the crown per se. They’re not playable the same way a villager or a shopkeep aren’t playable. They aren’t sworn to the Legion (though that may change someday … spoilers). So they’re not related to this.

Having Weave does nothing. Having weave and a connection to a source of power is what enables you to use it in specific ways. The mechanic is just easier to have a single mechanic rather than putting down half a dozen specialist skills for each individual mystic source.

If it’s any help on the ideas front, a Soldier I played used it to:

  • purify a small holy site to the Horned One that Breaker’s minions had messed with.
  • burn away Black Rotting Gale’s miasma so we could shoot it properly.
  • reveal which siege engine Victoria Karhowl was hiding in at the battle at Skydagger’s outer walls, literally illuminating it

The GM did also mention he’d probably allow just using it like a weapon to blast a bunch of weaker undead - purging the corruption and returning the bodies to nature sort of thing. They did also specify it only worked if there was at least some available moonlight

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Just reporting back…

One of our Soldiers went into it praying to Nyx and trying to make contact with her, so at the climax of the mission, after he had touched the shard and been in proximity to the Crown, I allowed a zero dice Weave roll, assisted by the otherwise-incapacitated medic who had taken ownership of the crown to have Nyx light their way through the unnatural storms created by the Infamous Shadow Witch searching for them in the forest! It was, in fact, pretty epic.

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Uh, that is a really cool way to do it.

We also just played the mission, just wanted to add my own AAR here. We’re playing a generally more military- and slightly lore-focused campaign (I like coming up with lore about the BoB world). So, I interpreted the description of the special mission fairly loosely and put my own spin on it, as always.

A bit of background on the “church” (using the term loosely) of Nyx in our version of the world, as established for the purpose of this mission (it hadn’t come up before). The Panyar have two primary gods, the horned one and Nyx. The horned one represents the animal side of the Panyar, while Nyx represents the human side. Nyx stands for all things that are either circular or on a spectrum - life and death, good and evil, etc. - as, like the phases of the moon, everything moves on a continuum and not in a strict binary. They do not believe in unqualified good or evil. However, with the rise of the cinder king, some believers have begun to rethink this, as they cannot find anything good about him. Fairly early, some already gave him the title “the new moon”, as he (to them) represents a perfect absence of good / a complete darkness. Understandably, this title has not exactly become less contentious among the Panyar after the breaking of the chosen of Nyx and the shattering of the moon.

The general idea of the mission was that they are asked by Rowan (who, in our version of the world, is a truly ancient chosen who already features in the first mission the Legion ever undertook while in the service of the emperor, as established by the Lorekeeper) to find out why, after lying dormant for a while, the shard of the moon that had landed in the forest had started to bleach plants and animals around the crash site over the past week.

We send a squad with a Panyar scout to lead them, and they move through the forest, encountering a zone of bleached trees and animals that all seem to have a very slight internal glow. This leads to issues as they can see so little that they almost stumble into a pack of coyote-like creatures that are almost indistinguishable from the forest, but they manage to lure them away with food and proceed to the shard.

The shard is actually massive, easily 20 meters high and several hundred meters across, and it has crashed into the trees without leaving any crater, only crushing the trees directly below it. The scout proceeds to carefully climb it (after a short prayer to Nyx asking for permission to step upon her moon). He finds himself on the surface of the moon, where he encounters a building formed like a half wheel, with 7 spokes radiating from a central chamber in a half circle.

He brings the rest of the squad up, and together they move towards the building. After the medic botches a three-dice research roll and can’t identify it, a one-dice fortune roll from a Panyar rookie allows them to remember that there are legends among the Panyar of a temple to Nyx, hidden deep in the forest of Panya, that has this form. Legends say that the high priest of Nyx resides in this temple, where she has a direct connection to her goddess.

They enter the building and find it richly decorated with carvings of the moon and other signifiers of Nyx, including two wolves carved around the outer doors (wolves being the holy animal of Nyx - “the animal that prays to the moon” and all that) and the seven spokes of the building marked with different phases of the moon. When they turn around after entering the building, they find themselves face-to-muzzle with a giant white wolf with silver eyes (thanks for the idea, logbook of Dame Mikila Savrelli) that has moved into the door, blocking their exit and looking at them expectantly.

They find that in the central spoke of the half-wheel, marked with a full moon, is illuminated, and that a black miasma is crawling along the high ceiling of the path and sinking into the signet of the full moon above the entry. Scout and medic carefully proceed down the path, leaving the rookies to guard the entrance (with strict instructions not to annoy the wolf).

They stop at the entrance to the chamber at the end of the spoke, where they find the silver crown sitting on a small socket. Around it swirls the black miasma, which emanates from the pillar upon which the crown sits, but is being pushed back by the light of the crown. They enter the room to inspect it further, and suddenly find the opposite, previously flat wall disappear before them, showing instead a mirror image of their room, with a similar pathway leading from the room to a central chamber, and a forest on the outside. The forest has been blackened, and the room is occupied by a number of Panyari, five of which are standing around the outside with curved silver blades at their sides, while a sixth one stands before a similar pillar with a blackened crown, holding her hand above it and pouring the black miasma into it. All of the Panyari have been blackened and have the same silver eyes that the white creatures in the Talgon forest had.

It turns out that the high priestess of Nyx saw the breaking of the moon as a sign from her goddess that she changed her allegiance to the cinder king (by showing a perpetual new moon). It is likely that the breaking of the chosen also led to some corruption passing through Nyx into the high priestess, which may have eased this transition. Bottom line: the high priestess was seeking to corrupt both sides of her connection to the goddess, which led to some mystical reaction from the other crown, where all of the dark aspects of Nyx were drawn into the Panya side of the connection, and all the light aspects to the Talgon / Moon side.

The players had a short conversation, in which the high priestess tried to convert them to her side, but in the end, they naturally disagreed about their allegiance to the cinder king. At this point, the Panyar scout quickly pushed his hand through the miasma and pulled the crown off the socket, which severed the connection to Panyar. Luckily, he had both high-quality and regular reliquaries, which allowed him to soak up 9 corruption (I permitted using multiple reliquaries in this case) and reduce the corruption taken to 3 after a resist roll - turns out sticking your hand into corrupting magic from what is basically a Lieutenant of the broken of Nyx may not be the safest thing to do. However, it did get the job done.

In the end, the wolf pressured the players into choosing someone to wear the crown (by the simple expedient of not letting them go before they had made a choice), so now our scout has it burned onto his head. He then had a longer conversation with the only other Panyar in the squad and they prayed together before leaving back for the camp of the legion.

At this point, I am still unsure what exact powers to give the crown - I will brainstorm this with the player who is wearing the crown - but it was a really cool, lore-heavy mission, which the players also liked. Curious to see what we will do with the darn thing now, but especially given that we are approaching the end of the campaign, I am thinking that I’ll go the high-effect-high-cost route instead of low-effect-low-cost, and maybe integrate this somehow as a puzzle piece in taking out one of the Broken. The mission has also clarified / defined a bunch of lore for us, and conveniently also gives a view into how the war is affecting the other areas of the world - and an explanation for how the Cinder King is able to overrun Panya as effectively as he is doing at the moment (time track is rapidly approaching “Panya burns”).