Trying Times

When you see a shooting star, if there's something you want more than anything else in the world —

you can't lose / not now / not this way / not when you were so close / not before you / not to that person / not you

— Make a wish. Every shooting star, after all, is listening.

It's a pact. They call it The Big Deal.

The first star landed on the capitol, to repel a military coup. The next followed soon after, swallowing up the great cities, merging them with places from another world, levying horrible curses upon them. From their citadels, the newly arrived Celestials made the kingdom work, for, I mean, a weird star-being definition of "work". A harsh, piecemeal legal code was instituted, under the auspice of a "Transitional Government" - assisting the new Emperor in his rule until the point where humanity is advanced enough to exist on its own in peace and serenity.

At which point, presumably, the stars will lift off into the sky, their citadels folding back into themselves, their curses dissipating, off to listen for the next wish.

This would be way easier to believe if there weren't monsters eating people now.

It's a scam. They call it the Big Deal.

The stars travel from world to world, siphoning up pieces of them, growing larger and larger, ripping chunks out of the world and draining its life to fuel their travel and reproduction. They stitch whatever they can get their hands on together to form the star, repurposing it as weapons, breaking the laws of physic and magic and welding them together in strange ways. They come when they hear a promise, fuelled by a need and a cry of despair, take whatever they can get out of the world, and leave it for dead. Leave everyone for dead.

I mean, not you. They have to take some people with them. Run the boilers. Sweep the floors. Make the beds. Smile and look pretty. You're one of them, and there's no way out.

So they say. You're about fed up with that.

Trying Times is an astoundingly strangely formatted campaign about rebel heroes fighting back against world-hopping celestial beings in the process of colonizing a new world. They can either play resistance heroes from this world, or rebelling heroes from a previous one!


Every celestial is different. According to the celestials, they are all bound together by a common purpose, to spread universal peace and harmony. In practice, however, they have bizarre tastes and habits, and astoundingly specific powers. They can be emotional, arrogant, petty, and even fall in love. It is unknown whether they can be killed.


Characters will have access to an alternate dimension called 'Judgment'. Existing beyond time and space, Judgment is the parlor of the eternal Judge that watches over the forces of change and stagnation. In Judgment, heroes can meet and discuss matters regardless of their status in time and space. It is styled as a monochrome mansion: The rebels are given the Inner Wing (which is mostly white, with only a little black), whereas the Celestials relax in their Outer Wing (which is mostly black, with only a little white.)

"It is possible to trespass into the other faction's quarters, but doing so carries a terrible risk." …That's what the eternal Judge tells you, anyway.

Heroes & Grunts. Celestials, Bosses & Mooks.

Heroes & Grunts.

HP: Hit Points. When a unit reaches 0 HP, they die. Unlike most games, there's no way to revive people so be careful!
AP: Armor Points. This comes purely from equipped gear. AP functions similar to HP, in that it soaks damage. At the start of each combat encounter, the character starts with their full AP, and damage is dealt to AP before HP. This helps Heroes and Grunts survive missions!
SP: Stealth point! This functions as sort of a party speed stat, vs the facilities Alterness levels. If your stealth rating is higher you go first, if not, then last. SP can be a positive or negative number depending on the unit (though Heroes are always positive, Grunts don't need to be) and can be impacted by armor loadouts.
CP: Command Points. This is slightly different for Heroes and Grunts. For Heroes, the CP score determines how many command points worth of grunts they can deploy with them on missions. For Grunts, it determines how much CP they cost to be deployed with a Hero! Most Grunts are only worth 1CP, but certain ones are worth more, and sufficiently experienced Grunts might become worth more, as well. (A hero can only take a maximum of 4 grunts with them regardless of CP, though.) Only Heroes can initiate missions, sorry grunts!
EP: Energy Points. This is only for Hero units! EP is used to fuel special combat and exploration techniques and spells. Grunts are handled differently, with their powers either being used once per encounter if it's a combat power, or a limited number of times per dungeon if it's an exploration skill.

Hero Mode: This is basically like an overdrive, a special meter that only hero units get. It probably changes up different depending on class, and then once it's full you can use a special, powerful ability without spending any EP during the mission. Meter empties out upon mission completion, but carries over between encounters within the same mission.

Infiltration: This is a type of special affinity. You use Infiltration to overcome a Key Point's Security rating each time a time segment passes. Once you're gain points equal to or over the Key Point's Security rating, you enter it and do your dungeon run during the next time segment. (so it always takes one to overcome security, and a second to explore at the very least.)

Weapon/Magic/Skill Affinity.
Heroes and Grunts have varying affinities with different types of weapons, spells, and skills. There are four ranks: F, D, C, B and A. When taking an action that uses the corresponding affinity, the SIZE of the die is governed by the affinity level, where as the NUMBER of dice rolled is based on the weapon/spell/tool in question.
F: Cannot use!
D: d4
C: d6
B: d8
A: d10

A roll of 1-2 counts as a "Miss!" while 3-6 is "+1", and 7-10 means "+2". With a higher affinity, it's much easier for your actions to have greater potency! (given we aren't IRL we won't get cool custom physical dice for this, but we can easily put a customer roller on sugar so you don't have to remember the exact value for the number range and instead just see the ones that matter)

So weapon affinities are probably stuff like "blades" "polearms" "bows" and that kind of stuff. Figure it out exactly later.
Magic affinities would basically be elements/schools, like "fire" "water" "lighting" etc, and each spell has a corresponding element attached to it.
And then Skills would be like "Open Lock" "Use Machinery" "Avoid Patrol" or whenever we decide we need (would need to figure out how dungeons work exactly first I imagine), and then tools would be keyed into specific skill affinities.

SO FOREX: Lets say you have two people, a Soldier and a Scout. And then you have a Cheap Sword, a Decent Sword, and a Cheap Bow. Lets say that the Solider has A rank affinity with Swords, but F rank with bows, and the Scout has C rank with Swords, and B rank with bows. Then Cheap gear has a power rating of 1, and Decent gear a rating of 2. So when used to perform a basic attack, the Soldier would be able to roll 1d10 with the cheap sword, or 2d10 with the decent sword, and not be able to use the bow at all! On the flip side, the Scout would roll 1d6 with the cheap sword, 2d6 with the decent sword, and 1d8 with the cheap bow. Chance are you'd want to equip the decent sword to the Solider, then the cheap bow to the Scout to get the most mileage out of your gear! With 2d10 having a potential to deal +4 damage and 1d8 +2, for a total potential damage of +6! If you had instead given the Scout the decent sword and the Soldier the crappy one (ignoring the bow instead, since the soldier can't equip it), you'd only have a potential for +2 damage from the Scout's 2d6, and +2 from the Solider 1d10, giving you only a max potential of +4 (and having a harder time reaching it).

magic and skills would work the same way. Affinities would then be one of the major differences between classes and effect the type of gear you want to outfit them with.

Hero units and grunts alike both have classes, though different ones. Classes effect base stats and affinities, as well as which types of armor they can wear(?). it also effects the abilities they can learn, and bonuses they receive from leveling up. different classes are different at wildly different things! Rebels can also spend Hope to recruit new Heroes and Grunts as the need arises.

Celestials, Bosses & Mooks.

Mooks are the equivalent of Grunts, and Bosses are the Hero analogues. The Celestials themselves are a few steps above Bosses (generally…), each coming with their own unique skill sets and powers.

In combat, they follow more or less the same rules. They don't have AP though, just HP, and their affinity groups are as important as it is for heroes and grunts because monsters don't equip gear. Likewise, they also have encounter powers like grunts, although unlike grunts, monsters are capable of rechaging their powers. Generally at the start of the round you roll a d6 per monster, and any monster with a 6 picks an expended power to regain the use of. Some monsters might have other tricks to that, though. And bosses almost definitely do, or have easier times doing it, since they use the same system rather than having a system similar to EP. nice and simple! Bosses can be customized to a limited degree though, unlike mooks, probably by picking a handful of options when created. Celestials can spend Hope to create mooks and bosses (though each dungeon can only house so many), but they can't spend Hope to make more Celestials. Once they're out, they're out for good and can never be replaced!

Rebels vs. Celestials.
Growth is handled somewhat differently. First and foremost, all Rebels share a central chain of command and base of operation, where as the city is divided into 5 different districts for the Celestials and are operated independently. That means that all rebels share Hope, where as each of the five Celestials have their own Hope pool. Hope being the basic form of currency in the resistance effort, of course, and is spend on unit acqusition, research, and development. The Rebel's ultimate goal is to defeat all five of the Celestials and retake full control of the city, where as the Celestials are attempting to build a Cosmic Drive, and the first to accomplish their goal wins. Celestials //mainly //generate Hope via the passage of time, where as the primary method of Hope generation for the Rebels is completing missions. Celestials play similar to RPG GMs, with their generation method of interacting with heroes being that they create dungeons and fill them with monsters on their way towards their goal. Rebels on the other hand are more like traditional players, taking on missions to infiltrate celestial facilities as they appear and become aware of them, then loot and/or destroy them. They have vastly different R&D trees and options as well, as they're playing the game in very different ways.

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