Introduction to our RPG:
(wip - we still lectorate this one, but feel free to go ahead!)
- The Fight for Hope in a Dying World
Divine Fall-Out Fantasy
Himmelsstuermer (Hotspurs of Heaven) is a dystopian fantasy game. We like to refer to this usually using the term fall-out.
A fall-out is a catastrophe of often global extension which forces the inhabitants of the world to deal with (mostly terrible) changes.
So it is in the universe of Himmelsstuermer as well.
Edeja once was a fantasy world whose educational background was adequate to that in the 12th to 13th Century (not only referring to European Gothic and the High Middle Ages but Asia, for example, as well).
As things are in a fantasy world, the influences of many cultures mix in this setting.
At this time, however, the land ruled by dogmatisms was shattered by a terrible religious war. The pantheon of Gods was broken into pieces and over decades battles destroyed the continent, wiped out borders until there was no difference left between nations and they all became equal in their bloody phalanxes.
Only beliefs separated warriors; nothing else was of importance.
The end of war was the end of the Gods as well. The fate of the world, emaciated and devastated by war, seemed sealed.
The survivors carried the corpses of their dead Gods back into their ruined fortresses. The fortresses were re-erected as temples; buildings of enormous dimension, as the Gods itself had their hands in their construction in the past. The temples are called boxes, and each of the gods has one consecrated to his memory.
This setting is similar to the return into bunkers you’ll find in many post-apocalyptic stories. Therefore the term “fall-out fantasy”.
The divine aspect on Himmelsstuermer is that everything that happens and exists in this world depends on the gods - be they dead or alive. You will soon learn what that means.
For generations the survivors gave up any hope for the world outside of their safe walls and abandoned the land.
However, from the last thoughts of the dying Gods originated the desire to give the destroyed world and their children a chance. The gift of true godliness came down on the last warriors, who from now on could work wonders.
So some kind of new magic found its way to the world of Edeja.
After a long time the children of the Gods finally opened the gates of the boxes and found each other; the reconstruction of the world could begin.
Now the world reached a circle of rejuvenation.
Many different themes shaped the concept of Himmelsstuermer.
Once a year the three moons shine on the land, and only at that time children of the Gods are born. Not all survivors received the godly sparkle; it’s not handed down to their children. But once a year the newly born are blessed by the sleeping Gods.
You’ve got the power!
In our game the player takes the part of such a God-child, also called Assra-Tar. The children of the Gods are educated in different ways; each caste follows the traditional ways of a specific God and stands for the aspect of the world that God once cared for. Our concept here is Epic Tragic Fantasy.
Compared to Heroic Fantasy our heroes are equipped with great power but also have to bear enormous pain for the welfare of all men (or shim, for there are not just humans in this world).
One task of the children of the Gods is to collect the stones known as the tears of the Gods. These stones are indeed the tears of the Gods, shed during the wars, and they contain some of their powers. The stones have to be brought back and laid down at the sides of the God’s corpses, so they may regain power and rise again. Only then the world can be saved during the long run. The stones as such are very powerful.
The children of the Gods offer their own lives for them. From birth they are risen far away from regular human beings and are trained in preparation of their tasks. They have little time for other things, and therefore a very limited life to live.
Character development and rules
The particular thing about Himmelsstuermer is the attention and care for the development of the characters during the game. There’s a system of morale which helps with points/merits but mostly this is realized through role play.
Especially charming are the different cultures which dominate the varying castes. The clash of cultures is almost programmed when young adepts meet. Religion ties the children of the Gods together, and their different aspects/strengths form a group to a perfect unity – theoretically. Especially as you start as a teenager there is lot of space for interesting out-play of the character.
Beside the moral system there is a regular system of attributes and abilities which helps to play out fights fast and bloody and which is of use in some commonplace situations.
Dices are one W10 and some W6.
The application of godly powers is just as easy and there’s no need to learn complicated formulas or take a lot of time for the working out of successes. All these powers are drafted in a way that they can be used easily even in a fight.
There’s no choosing of classes as all children of the gods are warriors as well as diplomats and clerics. So there are no magicians who can't wear armor but only robes or something like that. Therefore there is no class limit for races.
There’s just the choosing of the God you want to serve and the direction you want to take.
The Order of the Blade serves the God Father Aleksor; he’s the God of the beginning, the God of steel and war.
Adepts of the Blade learn the Power of Weapons which gives them the power to become one with their blade and to do either devastating damage, to act faster or to fight better in their armour.
An Adept of the Blade is a warrior, who goes to war erect and full of honor. They are the leaders of the society of children of the Gods.
An Adept of the Blade is drilled by his tutor in one of three attributes. The player has the choice between the Dikan, a heavily plated infanterist, the Tuskan, a medium plated skirmisher who often acts on horse or the Meren, a fast, light plated melee fighter who fights with two weapons at a time. Accordingly abilities and starter equipment are generated for the character.
So it is with the six other castes. The basic accounts of each God’s temple are identical, but the attributes differ. While the player decides for one clear direction his character will always be warrior, priest and magician in one. So nobody is at a disadvantage but because at the differing views there’s enough stuff for variety in stories and groups.
Clash of Cultures and beyond
On their way the children of the Gods have to face the whole world.
The depraved and degenerated dwellers of the outer world crave for the power from the God’s jewels, even if they turn them into mad monsters which have to be overcome. The wasteland, which came into existence though the ravages after the Great War is an environment hostile towards life and full of lost souls who have to be conquered back for belief in the Gods. Mystic cults and legendary ruins from the past are buried in the desert sands.
The children of the Gods have to explore the country and to reveal themselves to the denizens as the true heirs of the Gods. They are the last hope of a dying world who turned away from the faces of the Gods. It is the task to conquer heretics, to crusade districts of the continent and to rebuild cities so Edaja may look into a glorious future again.
And then there’s the enemy from the north, for the Dark Gods - the fiends from the Great War - have their own temples and children …
The tests and adventures the Assra-Tar have to survive seem to come to no end …
Himmelsstuermer can be compared to games like Engel,(Angel by White Wolf) Earthdawn or Excalted. Higher beings with a very human side and therefore in a constant inner conflict try with all their powers to change the future of a dying world. This they don’t do for themserves but for all beings. Serving higher forces, impersonating them as well their inner turmoil seems to tear them into pieces while at the same time they stand on many different battlefields fighting many different enemies.
A drama performed on a dystopic stage, and which conclusion is unwritten yet. The fate of Edeja lies in your hands.
Authors: Alexej “balorkin” Axis and Bastian “Volty” Thun
Play Time: feature-length
Players: 1 – 6
Kit: 1 W10, some W6