The Blackchapel Revolution (Remix)

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The Blackchapel Revolution (Remix)

Post by Akuma_Reiten » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:50 pm

Hi everyone,

Long-time fan of Twentysided and the spoiler warning crew. Straight to the point, I really like a lot of Rutskarn’s work and one that practically stood out for me was a game he made called the The Blackchapel Revolution. I couldn’t join the game myself but I really liked the setup and the feel of the rules. You can find his posts about it on his blog.

So I was mucking around one day thinking of starting an rp guild for Star Citizen, since I’ve been everything from a tabletop Dm to an admin running RP mmo’s, and it seemed a good choice. I mulled about what to do for it exactly and eventually settled on a sci-fi Noble house setup. However the games not anywhere near out yet and my short attention span demands I be constantly active so I wanted to try and run some kind of pregame. This is when I remembered The Blackchapel Revolution, which I thought would be a perfect fit for a forum game. Now I don’t know if I’ll actually start this guild stuff, and I’d defiantly want Rutskarn’s permission to use his system, but for fun I’ve already started rewriting the rules a little bit.

And making a database.

When I was looking over the Blackchapel rules there’s an awful lot of calculations going on, and the more players you have the more unmanageable it looked. Part of me rewriting the rules was an attempt to streamline it. That didn’t happen and I made it more complex. So my eventual solution was to streamline player actions to take the burden off their end, and create a database to do all the work on my end.

I’m interested in peoples feedback on the current state of the revamped ruleset, and if Rutskarn doesn’t mind I’d be happy to run it on here.

The Blackchapel Ascension

Character Generation

Each character begins with 15 points to spend on either raising attributes or purchasing qualities. You are restricted to a maximum of four qualities and a limit of 5 on any attribute. Each character begins the game with 10 wealth unless otherwise indicated.


Connections: After every scheme phase you can use a connections point to determine contact between players. For every point you beat the targets Secrecy score you learn of one player they have been working with at random, this includes any player there in a plot with and any player adding to your targets Secrecy or Vigilance score. You do not learn how the players are working together.

Discretion: This represents the skill of an individual at keeping secrets—both their own secrets and the secrets of others. Each Scheme Phase, a player may protect the secrets of another—or else, by default, protect their own. A player’s Discretion, plus the Discretion of all players assisting them, becomes that players’ Secrecy score.

Any group or individual attempting to make an Espionage or Connections check must have a score total equal to or higher than the subject’s Secrecy. Otherwise, the attempt is fruitless.

Espionage: Espionage represents how much skill a player has at determining the abilities of another. Every Scheme Phase, players with an Espionage score of 2 or higher may inquire about another players attributes. For every point you beat the targets Secrecy you learn of one random attribute.

Influence: Influence represents your ability to get others to follow your lead. In all polls and elections, you get a number of votes equal to your Influence score.

Malice: Malice represents your characters ability to plan schemes against other players. Every Scheme Phase players with a Malice score of 2 or higher may attempt one of the following Schemes:
Blackmail: You attempt to blackmail another players voting block, forcing them to abstain from the next vote.

Appropriation: You attempt to steal wealth from another player. For every scheme point over the players vigilance you gain one of their wealth points, however if the result is negative you are fined half of your current wealth. (The result is spilt in the event of a plot success, and given to the players who acted first in the event a spilt doesn’t work)

Distraction: You attempt to divert another players attention, leaving them vulnerable to other players spying attempts. For every scheme point over the targets vigilance the reveal chance of any failed scheme is lowered by 5%.

Murder: You attempt to put an opponent out of the game, permanently. This can only be attempted after you have successfully passed the three previous plots onto a single player. It only counts if you were involved with each plot. Murder plots however are risky by nature, as everyone involved carries a risk of death themselves. You may join a murder scheme without being involved in the previous schemes.

Paranoia: Paranoia represents how good you are at avoiding schemes, or helping others avoid schemes. During any Scheme Phase, as long as you have a Paranoia score of at least 2, you may assign part or all of your score to defend another player.
Wealth: Wealth represents a players personal funds they can use to temporarily increase any of their other attributes. Every Phase a player can spend wealth points to increase any of his other attributes. However if you lose your wealth due to another players Appropriation attempt in the same Phase that you attempt to spend it, the spend fails.

Coward: You gain an effective +5 points of Vigilance for every person protecting you. You may not protect others. Cost: 5 points.
Dilettante: The player may make free use of any attribute, even if their score is only 1. Cost: 1 point.
Lunatic: You lend an effective +2 Ruthlessness to any assassination attempt, but automatically die if it ties or is unsuccessful. Cost: 3 points.
Untouchable: Chance of dying as a result of a failed assassination or protection attempt goes down to 25%. This does not apply to the subject of an assassination attempt. Cost: 3 points.
Extravagant Spender: You begin the game with 15 wealth points, but when using wealth points you must spend at least 2. Cost: 2 points.
Spymaster: You gain +3 to beat any secrecy check, but you can only use discretion on yourself. Cost: 2 Points.
Loaned Wealth: You begin the game with 20 wealth points, borrowed from a corporation. They will however expect 15 back at some point, or for a favour. Cost: 2 points
Chartable: You may gift any number of your wealth points to another player during any scheme phase. Cost: 1
Mastermind: When you attempt an Espionage check in conjunction with another player you add +5 to the effort. You cannot use Espionage without one or more partners. Cost: 3 Points.
Skeletons in the Closet: If you manage to kill another player you gain +5 on all Discretion attempts(Must be leading the scheme). Cost: 2 Points.
Incognito- When failing a connection or espionage check the chance of you being discovered is cut by half. Cost: 3 Points.
Vindictive- When you become the target of a scheme and it fails, the reveal chance raises by 5% for every point it failed by. Cost: 2 points.
Technophobe: You gain +5 on Paranoia checks but you cannot pool your connection points with any other player. Cost: 3 Points.
Kleptomaniac: On any appropriation scheme you double the amount of wealth points you take from the victim, but if the attempt ties or fails you lose all your wealth and can no longer perform or aid appropriation schemes. Cost: 2 points.
Charismatic: You gain +3 on connection and Influence checks, but cannot use Discretion on yourself. Cost: 3 points.
Loose Lips: You gain +5 on Distraction schemes but cannot use Discretion on other players. Cost: 3 Points.
Celebrity: Until you are the victim of a successful malice scheme your influence is doubled. Cost: 4 points.
Private Retreat: For one Scheme Phase you are immune to all offensive attributes. Your influence and others using theirs on you are halved during the next phase. Cost: 1 point.
Pacifist: You cannot put points into Malice, but you gain +3 to all other attributes. Cost: 5 points.
Alien Sympathiser: You cannot put points into influence but begin the game with 20 wealth. Cost: 4 points.

Basic Rules
The game is spilt between two phases, the public phase and the scheme phase. During the public phase there will be events with possible outcomes, which the players vote on. This phase is also when players can use their influence score, at the end of the phase the result of the event is announced along with the total influence used on each player.

The scheme phase is when players can use their other attributes to target or work with other players. You are limited to using only two attributes and one special quality during a scheme phase. At the end of the phase all schemes and plots will be resolved and those effected messaged.

When using Attributes or schemes players fill in the following format and send it to the GM:


If your character is uninvolved with a plot it must be left blank. Everything must be spelt correctly or the system will not accept your actions. To spend wealth points all you have to do is apply more points than your character has, the difference will then be deducted from your total wealth. If you want to use your wealth to increase your own defences you can target yourself.

When using Malice only indicate the Malice scheme you are attempting.

Any unused defensive attributes are automatically applied to yourself.

When you wish to work with another player with an offensive attribute or scheme you must indicate you are working together by naming your plot. For example if you teamed up with another player on a connections check you could call the Plot “The eavesdropping Sparrow” to show your working together. Plot names must be unique and it must be typed exactly the same for everyone in the plot (Otherwise the system won’t recognise it as the same plot). At the end of the Phase you will be told of the success or failure of the plot and everyone involved in it.

For defensive attributes like Paranoia you do not need to use a plot to pool points. All points directed at the same target are added, but with no announcement to who was involved.

In the case of an assassination attempt, the resolution is handled as follows:
The Malice scores of all assassins who are explicitly working together are added. This total is referred to as Ruthlessness.

The Paranoia scores of all individuals protecting the target are added. These individuals need not co-ordinate with one another. This total is referred to as Vigilance.

Once both totals are calculated, Vigilance is subtracted from Ruthlessness.

A negative score means that the attempt fails, and each assassin involved in the attempt has a 50% chance of dying. This occurs even if another attempt, involving other assassins, succeeds during the same Phase.

A positive score means that the subject of the assassination dies, and that each individual contributing to the Vigilance score has a 50% chance of dying. If multiple attempts on the same subject are successful, individuals contributing to the Vigilance score have a 50% chance of dying for each successful attempt.

If the score is zero, every individual involved—assassin, subject, and protector alike–has a 50% chance of dying.

If your character dies then you lose your ability to be targeted, but retain your Connections, Espionage and Wealth scores. Your other attributes are considered 0, but can be raised with wealth as normal.

Not everyone wants to become the Lord of the Household. For many others the title holds no value to them, and would merely be a burden at best, or at worst make them a target. Instead others have come to prove their mettle in other ways. During the course of the game there will be a series of achievements players can aim for which will grant them a title, want your family to be known as terrible killers or wealthy merchants? The opportunity’s lies in the ascension.

Change Reasons
Those of you who have read the original rules will see all the changes I’ve made, so I’m using this segment to explain my reasoning behind them.

Short Vs Long-A lot of the changes I’ve added have been in service of making the game last longer. This is because it would be my intention to run the game not as a one off, but as something to help paint the history of the noble house and get members involved constantly.

Murder- Originally it was possible to lose half the players on the first turn, which for a short game is perfectly fine. However due to the length of the game dying very early would probably be very boring. Now murder requires a series of very coordinated efforts, so if you do want a character dead you need to put in some time. This also means that new players will have time to join factions or groups for protection, without worrying about dying right away.

Wealth- One of the bigger game changers wealth is useful in two regards. It gives players something to manage and fight over without knocking each other out of the game, but it also gives new players a leg up against malicious factions when they first join. Since it’s hard to keep hold of, and hard to gain, you have to have a very good idea when you want to use it.

Plots- Players can now work together using any attribute. This is to help foster teamwork between players, committing to a plan to find out another players contacts is easier to agree to then suddenly working together for a malice scheme with horrible repercussions if they go wrong.

Trust is difficult- While Plots have gained the advantage that you can see who has committed to your plot, the same doesn’t apply to the defensive attributes. So if you ask someone to defend you, you have to take their word that there doing it. The only way to be totally sure is to make a connections attempt against them, but they might not appreciate that if they find out your doing it. But plots aren’t exempt from betrayal, being able to see people working with you can give you a false impression that they will always work with you. It’d be a shame if they pulled out of that final murder scheme so you end up dead instead.

Random- The spy attributes reveal details at random. This is purely to keep the amount of input a player must provide as small as possible. I’ve debated a pass meaning you learn all the details of another player, but for a long game that’s too powerful. So my compromise is to make it random, but in the case of Espionage I can code it so it never gives you the same attribute (Can’t do that with Connections, because it might be important to know the same people are working together every phase).

Reveal- I added reveal to give more incentive for teaming up. The bigger your able to make your plot the more risk you mitigate. Also since I have limited actions to two per scheme phase the reveal stat should hopefully make up for that, so you still have a way to gather info while doing other things.

Dying- Since it’s a long game dying would effectively you cut you out from the community, which is no fun for anyone. So instead I tried to think of a way dead characters could still be involved in some manner. What I eventually settled on was something like an information broker. Dead players can continue to assist (Or betray) their allies by supplying information, and if a dead player has been canny they might have enough Wealth left over to make a difference when it comes to important votes.

Organisation Skills- Effectively the game is a test of player’s ability to organise others. The better your able to convince others to do what you want the better you’ll perform in the game. This will hopefully get the players interested and speaking to one another, with those with leadership skills rising to the top.

Titles- The winning spot doesn’t actually produce any sort of big prize, the journey is what’s important (The prize is just the leader npc will be named after your characters family). But winning in an rp game can be a vague concept, as the one sitting on the big chair could just be a puppet. In order to clarify other possible options I’ve included titles which are about distinguishing play styles. For example a player might earn the title Master of the Hunt by achieving the most murders, or one might get High Aviditas for having the most Wealth at the end of the game.

So let me know what you think, does anything seem unbalanced or is there something you’d change? Any good ideas for extra Qualities?



Re: The Blackchapel Revolution (Remix)

Post by PossiblyInsane » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:16 pm

Sounds like fun, but I'm a little confused about Wealth. What does it do?

Re: The Blackchapel Revolution (Remix)

Post by Akuma_Reiten » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:52 pm

PossiblyInsane wrote:Sounds like fun, but I'm a little confused about Wealth. What does it do?

By spending them you can increase the other stats temporarily. So say one Scheme Phase you had 4 Paranoia, but your not confident it will protect you this phase, you can spend 2 wealth on it to make it 6 for that phase. There's no limit to how much wealth you can use each scheme, but it can only be gained by Appropriation checks or in some public events, and once it's spent its gone.
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