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ZEITGEIST A Stereotypical Italian Campaign

Rukaiko

Villager
Hello everybody!
I'm absolutely enthusiast to share with you the start of what (I hope) will be a loong campaign!

First of all, please be gentle if I'm not the best writer, I swear I'll improve my english skills

I want to start introducing one project that required quite a lot of time before I started the campaign. Since I wanted to make everything super user friendly for my 7 players, I decided to translate the player's guide for them and make a little book to share. I even asked one of my players a drawing for the cover of the book!
I doubt an entire file in italian will be useful for someone, but I'll still link it here with the cover (with spoilers without context):

copertinafirma.png


Then let's talk about the players. (All the drawings are made by them)
Please don't judge me if I changed a couple of characters and chronology of the adventure, it was quite hard to fit all my players weird wishes, but I'm quite proud of how I entangled them with the plot. Of course any advice is GOLD for me.

Aire Pemberton: The Archaeologist Warlock

aire.jpg

This halfling was born in Ber, at Seobriga, daughter of two immigrated halflings that hated Risur and prefer the strong leadership of Ber. When she was little for a couple of not so random as she thinks circumstances she found someting rather unique: an air dragon egg. When she touched it she had an immediate magical imprinting with that egg and she was compelled to protect it with her life.
Before her parents realized what she had and called the beran authority she was approached stealthy by Pemberton. He told her that the only way to save the egg was leave everything and to come with him.
Then she moved to Risur where the king, Lee, and all the nobles had to decide if it was wise to destroy the egg that Pemberton brought but in the end they decided to put it in a museum in Flint.
As time passed Aire started to change... she was getting taller than a standard halfling and lighter and lighter, her air always floating. The connection with the egg was truly something powerful.
Aire started to study the egg and so started her life as an archaeologist until... the egg hatched and a baby air dragon was born!
Now they can't live without each other and the king had a couple of difficult decision to make....


Aron Morales: A Beran Skyseer
drawing in progress
Aron is an half-orc and was born in Ber, his family owning a farm of mega fauna. He was destinated to inherit it and partecipate at the Ursalina.
After his first encounter with a bear he was traumatized and refused to follow that way.
For around a year Aire lived with them, a strange man took this child and payed his parents to hide her for some time. They became good friends.
When he was older he decided to study at the Panoply and then to find a purpose in life at Risur.
Here he met Nevard.
His double life started. On the day he trained his body with an old war veteran that invented an unique martial fighting style and on the night he trained his mind with all the teachings the wise Nevard could give him.
Now the training is completed and Risur could use his skillset.

Etiee: The Weirdo Bard
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That's a weird one.
The first child born in the BlackGate. It turns out a couple of factory workers in the obscurati facility had fallen in love. One of them is Alexander Grappa.
But she doesn't remember anything about this, she just spawned in Flint a couple of years ago, no memories, no name, a strange fear of glasses and a weird ring with the words "Ogni Sentimento Conta".
Everytime she saw herself on a reflecting surface she sees another distorted word, her face sick, ghostly, with bones on the surface.
Her first friend? Rock Rackus.
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the player liked so much this character that she started making quite a lot of drawing of him

This crazy boy saw something in her. Maybe a weird beuty, maybe someone with nothing to lose.
They had a weird relationship made of drugs and teachings. He even took her to the fey realm, even though she was so drunk and drugged to remember anything useful.
In the end they had a fight and she was lonely again, still living with the dockers that took care of her, on the thinking's man tavern.
She discovered to have the ability to talk with dead people and decided to give it a try at the RHC.

Philippe Louis François Sorge: The Divorced Professor

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And here it is our wizard, Philippe Louis François Sorge, born from a family of Danorans and Risuri that didn't gave a naughty word about the war. They lived on an Island that wasn't neither in Risur or Danor.
His uncle (from the Danoran part of family) was quite fonded with the firearms technology, so he teached Philippe the love behind a gun.
Philippe was also in love with the Risur traditions and he even started learning magic. One of the presents he received was a weird book founded in ancient ruins on the island, perfectly intact and empty. That became his spellbook.
He leaved home early and started to study at Shale, with Lauryn Cyneburg as teacher.
The war then intensified on that Island and part of his family had to flee back in Risur.
He wrote a thesis on how there could be even different words or planes other than the dreaming and the blackgate. He himself saw weird things on the Axis Island. But it wasn't appreciated by the scholars, so enraged he moved to Flint and became a professor of history and magic.
He even married a woman (the only daughter of morgan cippiano but that's another story) and had a child!
The marriage didn't last long thogh, and he began to drown himself in work.
Maybe the RHC will distract him enough.

Dayan Cippiano: A Tiefling from Crisyllir

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Dayan, son of a proibited love. His father a tiefling, his mother an eladrin, Hyrliele Ravjahani (yeah, I know I changed a lot of things here).
They lived hided from everything and everyone, in the middle of nothing, but they were happy.
Of course until a group of people showed up, took his mother and killed his father. They were going to kill him too but they only managed to break one horn before a power growed in him and with an heartquake he destroyed his home and his killers (very harry potter style).
He was found barely alive by The Family that for some reason decided to keep him, always hidden, but teaching him the ways of the criminal life with a touch of faith in Triegene.
He was soon moved in Flint with Morgan Cippiano that started his early plan of expansion on Risur, while the boy grew here, always in an hostile environment.
Dayan had an useful talent of speking with dead people that helped a lot the family... until he found from the spirit of a vekeshi assassin that his mother was still alive.
Morgan was hiding something from him and he wanted answers.

Artemys Percyval Rowel : The Gnome Technologist

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This gnome grew with his little brother Tinker in a Risuri forest. Their parent owned an orphanage and they were always happy to find ways to help them and the little kids.
They had a knack for inventions and for building weird things that in someways made living in this orphanage interesting.
But one day their parents disappeared and an elf, a "good" friend of them, took possession of the place and started brainwashing the children about how the industrial revolution is killing Risur.
Tinker discovered something was wrong with this elf and had to flee in order to not get killed, and Artemys had to do the same, but now they were separated.
They met again in Flint, Tinker a little bit odder than before and Artemys with a infinite passion for all the creative minds in this city.
But his brother was weird and he found a strange orb that had some influence on him, but he refused to leave it even for a second.
Artemys had to investigate.

Jhonatan Zafool: A True Veteran
drawing in progress

Jhonatan had a rough childhood. He lived in poverty in the nettles. He and his mother, waited for a long time news from the father, lost in war. One day a soldier that knew his father came with bad news.
After a while this man started to date his mother but soon he was revealed to be an abusive person, beating her and even the child.
Until one day the young Jhonatan had enough and killed this man, hiding the body in the stanfield canal.
But he was afraid of what he did and what people could do to him and his mother if they discovered his murder. So he enrolled as a fighter in the war with his best friend.
They were both escaping from something and initially they found a purpose in the war. They became war machines, his friend the mind and Jhonatan the arm.
But then war is war. His friend died heroically and when he returned he was not the same person.
Jhonatan used his money to help his mother and the ex-girfriend of his friend but he had no purpose and drinking all day.
The Nettles are a mess, and at some point Lorcan Kell started molesting him and the people he cares about.
He needs to do something and his huge maul is ready to strike again.
 

Attachments

  • Guida a Zeitgeist.pdf
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Echolocation

Explorer
Wow, excellent work translating the guide.

I love Etiee's art, did Etiee's player draw that too? Their rendition of Rock Rackus is incredible, I love the smirk.

The fey titans are incredible too.
 

Rukaiko

Villager
Thank you, it took a while to translate everything!

Yeah, our drawings are made by etiee's player and aire's player, with two different styles.
I'll probably post other official npc's reinterpretation here as we go on, some drawings are so good I feel compelled to show around how much I'm proud of my players <3

Rock Rackus in the fey realm

Rock Rackus in the fey realm

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Etiee performing at the theatre
 

Hi there. It's always great to see another group dipping their toes into ZEITGEIST, and man, I do love players who draw during games. When do you start, and what edition are you playing?

Where in Italy are you? I've only had the pleasure of Milan and Venice so far.
 

Rukaiko

Villager
We started with a lot of oneshots.
(Again sorry for my notsogood english T.T)

Each player played a solo session on wich we discovered together how they would like to roleplay the character and if there was a skill profiency to change.

I introduced them to the RHC (DSN in italian), each one met one member of the Team B (They all hate Carlao now) and the interview with Saxby started.

Saxby wanted to grasp who would be a better leader and asked each one of them the same trick questions (I took an advice from someone here)

1) During a mission you witness an attempted murder of a woman. Do you intervene at the risk of blowing your cover, or do you ignore the fact and focus on the mission?

2)
You believe that an Agent in your group is not delivering items recovered on a mission to the Department. What would you do?

3) In time of war, an enemy officer comes to you with a risky plan to achieve peace. Would you arrest him so that you could then exchange him with one of our Risuri officers held prisoner, or would you find out where this leads, risking being accused of treason?


And in the end:
If you die in the workplace, who should we contact to give them your body?

Then the Magical Test Powered By Risur TM started.
Saxby made a ritual and the magic entrusted her by the king started to check in their memories if they are loyal to Risur.

So I used this excuse to play a moment of their past, something they wrote where I added a bit of a personal twist.

And this was just the one to one oneshots!

We played 3 other sessions before starting.
I LOVE to start a campaign with an horror story. I think if made well an horror one shot can form a group that doesn't know and trust each other better than anything.

There were some troubles on the Pine Island.
The mayor, Roger Pepper, was a war veteran and in a mission on Axis Island he brought back a creature... a Gidim.
This baby creature lied dormient in stasis, still not born, and his body was muted over the years by the thoughs on the island.
The creatured grew inside the mayor, silent and slowly and at some point found a way in his basement.

What kind of creature is this?
I took the freedom to reskin and reimagine a False Hydra as a Gidim.

If you want to know more on this creature check this:

TLDR? The False Hydra eats people and everyone forgets that this people ever existed in the first place. I found this kind of powers over the mind fitted well with the Gidim, a mutated one of course, but it's a good foreshadow.

I would love if anyone has some interesting ideas to justify/implement this creature on the Zeitgeist lore or future interactions with the Gidim!

I formed 3 groups:

Dayan and Jhonatan
Philippe, Etiee and Artemys
Aire and Aron

1) Dayan and Jhonatan investigated on Kell's guild. They were meeting in secret in an old warehouse with some workers, trying to smuggle some weapons. But most of the Kell's guild people were eaten by the Hydra and only one of them remained alive, confused because he couldn't bring back all these weapon alone.

2) Philippe, Etiee and Artemys investigated on a murder on the Battalion Academy. A professor was murdered, there were two students involved but one of them was eaten. They caught the murderer bur some questions remained unanswered. Here I introduced Greg Masterson.

3) Aire and Aron met with CopperHat! The fey asked as a favor for the Court to escort some tiny fey (like the Soot Sprites from Totoro and spirited away) to a secure location. He asked the local police on Pine Island but they forgot? The RHC needed to avoid a diplomatic incident.

I printed a newspaper with some hints on characters/future interactions. I plan to do one for each chapter (of course it's in italian, sorry!)

Il veggente settimanale (1)_pages-to-jpg-0001.jpg

After this group sessions where they met with part of the team we finally made the last one shot: Solving the Mistery.

For this special occasion I made an interesting handout.
Two letters, perfectly identical. Same stains, same folds. BUT one of them had some different sentences, like

HELP ME
HE'S BEHIND ME
I DON'T WANT TO GET EATEN

These were written by the mayor's secretary that is now dead.
The funny thing about the False Hydra is that your brain will erase every evidence of his existence as long as it sings.
So I handed them this letter where the mayor was asking th RHC some help because they had a lot of resources but not enough guards ec...

Here I involved one of my players.
I gave him the folded letter befor the session and told him
"When everyone is distracted, switch it. No question asked."

The idea is that sometimes the monster would stop singing and they could read the original letter.
And as a plus, I had a static noise on background, along with the music.
When they were getting close to the solution I turned up the volume, when something creepy happen I stopped the noise and a strange silence filled the room.

So Jhonatan was the first one to read it out loud to everyone, and they started moving to the Pine Island.
Aron's player switched it and Dayan took it by curiosity.
Fist thing he watched Jhonatan.

"Did you read the letter?"

"Yes, why?"
...

And then Dayan's player watched me as I watched her with a confused look

"What?"

The AMAZING thing is that she didn't say anything and thought that Jhonatan was trying to hide the creepy messages for a personal reason.
Then I made a wink to Aron's player and he switched them back and the other players, while talking to each other, consulted the letter.
When they arrived on the Pine Island Dayan sayd

"Ok, we need to go to the Mayor, something weird is happening here"

Everyone looked at her "Why?"

"Come on guys, the letter, you read it too"

"What's wrong with this letter?"


...

Dayan’s player looked at me "This wasn’t the letter I read…

“Yes? That’s the one I gave you right?”

“But it had some creepy things written on it”


Everyone started looking at her confused and than at me.

I switched off the static volume and the silence creeped the naughty word out of Aire’s and Etiee’s players.

The funny thing is that I NEVER touched the letter and I avoided to getting close to it, so they were REALLY confused.

Then long story short they went to the mayor, asked some questions, he told them to get tomorrow morning since it was late.
They convinced the guards to stay there all night and watch the mayor’s house.

After I described a couple of weird things (cats that would watch behind them and then run away, fishing gear left abandoned ecc…) they stopped at an Inn (il “Bel Bayou” or B&B).
Here they met the guards that were at the mayor’s house, eating an ice cream.

“What the hell are you doing here?” asked Jhonatan

What do you want agent? It’s late, we are enjoying an ice cream”

“You were supposed to guard the mayor!
” replied Philippe
....

“What mayor?”

“What?”
they all looked at me as I said “Mh, that’s strange. Why you said mayor? There never was a mayor on pine island”

And there I concluded the session.

Long story short they solved the case with a clever use of screams and glasses, but that’s less interesting


Immagine 2021-10-19 121710.jpg

We play in person but I love to use the projector for the battles
 
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Rukaiko

Villager
Hi there. It's always great to see another group dipping their toes into ZEITGEIST, and man, I do love players who draw during games. When do you start, and what edition are you playing?

Where in Italy are you? I've only had the pleasure of Milan and Venice so far.
Thank you, I love how active you and this forum are!
We are playing this adventure on 5e and today we finish the encounter on the CoalTongue!

I live in Pisa right now, but I'm native from the south, in Puglia. And I still need to visit Venice T.T
 
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