Choice of Rebels Part 1 WIP thread

"Will the PC ever end up in Xaos territory? "

If we do I bet it’s likely to find out how the Karagond empire with or without aid from (the priesthood of)Xthones created the Xaos lands by devastating whatever there was before they became the Xaos lands.

That’s assuming that the xaos lands are actually a horrible place, considering the nature of the government and their propaganda I seriously have my doubts that was ever true, and even if it was ever true that doesn’t mean that it’s still true.

I think this empire is like 1984 block when you cross you discover they considered you from xaos a barbarian across their frontier. Frontier goes 2x way you can enter and they cant go out maybe they have the same empire using blood to prevent them from you. I mean why not Empire could extend they frontier and put barrier, to avoid each countries joined forces also you adquired free blood who drain all viable commoner with ambitions. Also add fear against the exterior world and accept the empire as a protection. Maybe they pick my blood but they at least prevent demons enter and kill my family.

@Stsword, That might be true but whether or not the Xaos lands are actually (still) a horrible place for its inhabitants now I’m hazarding a guess they will be for our characters seeing as how we’re from the Empire.

From the in-game codex: " Over the next eighty years, her forces conquered the four realms surrounding Karagon and laid waste to another. "

I’m assuming what is known as the Xaos lands now is the realm they laid waste to back then, probably meaning they fought the magical equivalent of a nuclear war with whatever (civilization) was there at that time in any case for whatever reason they were unsuccessful in conquering that realm and apparently that realm was either also unsuccessful in subsequently retaliating against the Empire, although the threat of it might have necessitated the wards, or it was indeed laid waste to to the point that they couldn’t retaliate and their also was nothing worthwhile left for the Karagonds to conquer any longer.

@stsword is right that those events were at least three centuries ago but I can’t imagine that whatever is left of that realm or whatever lives there now will give a very cordial reception to anything coming out of the empire. Although if there are survivors or even a rebuilt civilization in the Xaos lands now I imagine it would be exceedingly difficult to get them to join the present conflict on the side of our rebellion.
On the other hand, particularly for any magically inclined character since we are already denounced as Goete demons by the empire and their priesthood I suppose there is no harm in making that statement come technically true.

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Well that’s all true, but think about it.

If they were able to fight the empire to such a standstill that the empire uses them as the excuse as to why they need a force field over the entire empire, then one would have to assume that the Xaos lands had enough resources to fight them to a standstill.

And what was one of the resources that the empire has that the four kingdoms apparently didn’t have? Blood magic.

So I think there is a strong chance that the Xaos lands had blood magic or even a different form of magic, and with 300 years and magic they might be sending colonies to the moon for all we know.  

And as for supporting the rebellion, are you kidding? Replacing regimes with ones friendly to you is a long standing tradition.

Even if they aren’t willing to support the rebellion, even if they’re hostile, well guess what, fighting a war on two fronts is not going to make things easier for the empire, so they’d be helping the rebellion out anyway.

If the rebellion wins,  maybe we'll need to give them some land, maybe pay some reparations, unless they want to throw people into a meatgrinder to power their magic it's still an improvement.

While I’m working on the game, some of you might be interested in reading one of the antecedents to CoRebels… a D&D campaign write-up on ENWorld’s StoryHour forum. I ran the campaign for two and a half years in college, with periodic reunions afterward; the 9-person gaming group included Adam Strong-Morse and his girlfriend (now wife), as well as another friend who’s now employed as an editor at CoG. It was by a mile the most creative gang of folk I’ve ever collaborated on a story with, and the characters they played still make me smile.

Writing it up and posting it to ENWorld was my fun fantasy escapism during a few rough years working in Afghanistan. I last updated it in early 2011… around the time I switched my creative energies to writing Choice of Rebels instead.

I offer it with some hesitation and warnings:
* First, while there’s plenty there, it’s unfinished. Indeed, it stops just as it’s getting to the point where the parallels with Rebels become obvious – when you join an underground rebellion against an oppressive Empire, which eventually sparks a civil war.
* The gameworld is one I came up with in high school, as are some of the broad plot lines. The final result is a bit of a collaboration between a teenage world-builder, a 20-something game-master, and a sometimes bemused 30-something writer (“Gack… why did I think this bit was a good idea?” or “Holy orientalism, batman”).
* I tried to give all nine players their own NPCs to play with, and lots of small-group and individual subplots. This made for a rich gaming experience, but in the write-up, especially in the early going, it makes for a lot of names and jumping from character to character.
* Trigger warning: there’s a rape on p. 13. Not proud of the way I handled that plot; some reflections on it by myself and some of the players are here.


There’s a certain irony, @Havenstone, in that the newfound tendency for people to give trigger warnings annoys me such that people should probably give a trigger warning to prepare me for seeing the phrase “trigger warning.”

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I appreciate the use of trigger warnings. I’d rather have them mentioned, than not. I think a minor annoyance at the use of a certain phrase is hardly comparable to people who might be genuinely upset by reading it.

I have never, not in all of my years of roleplaying, seen a rape storyline portrayed well. I have seen them portrayed from “hahahaaa prison-rape” to male gamers, who thought it was appropriate to describe, in graphic detail, how female players characters were raped.

So I, for one, am glad that the trigger warning was provided because it means that I can choose not to follow the links, although I may go read the reflections upon it.

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@FairyGodfeather I think the sort of person who gets upset by such topics just needs to learn to deal with it, and stop being such a pansy. Accommodating for weakness is a bad move, in my opinion.

But I agree, rape has become that “Look how serious we are” go-to topic for storywriters, and is seldom presented with any accuracy or subtly. Either the progress from “Look! Look at this nasty event!” to “Feel pity now.” is ham-fistedly forced onto readers, or some sort of gratuitous, fetishized spectacle is sought. Neither is particularly engaging, in a story.

I think trigger warnings are simply a matter of being considerate, just as putting a mature warning on things is.

I don’t agree with your name-calling of those who are upset by the subject. There’s no need for it. Different people get upset by different things, and surely it’s better to warn them in advance, than to have them accidentally read it, and then post about how upset they were with what they read.

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@FairyGodfeather Well, if they get upset, it’s their own fault. And to be honest, it is far better that people grow a backbone, than live in a culture where everything is nicely padded to protect their delicate feelings.

I someone suspected you wouldn’t agree with take on such matters, but I dislike sacrificing too much honesty for the sake of courtesy. I mean, I am being moderate for the sake of etiquette, but not to the sterile extreme.

Edit: But I suspect we are getting too far off topic, here.

Well, I get impatient with people who gripe about social norms of considerateness, so maybe we’re even. And yes, let’s get back on topic.


Just played the game for the first time last night, and I loved it! The world-building is great, and my character was such a little badass :slight_smile:

Ugh, second moral debate in a day.

@LordCypher Round three, anybody? Just me? I’ll be in the corner, then.

Moral debates on a fantasy CoG forum.
That mix doesn’t bode well.

@Drazen I’m somewhere between you and @Havenstone on the subject of social norms of considerateness and honesty/accuracy. I do believe a certain amount of courtesy is beneficial to civilized discourse all around, and that courtesy is understandably based to a not insignificant degree on social norms, BUT, some people who are way too easily offended can take things too far and start demanding censorship of everything they don’t like. And censorship is something I oppose. I’m thus generally willing to treat people in the way they wish to be treated, even if I myself prefer to be treated differently, as long as it isn’t a significant imposition on me. The trigger warning doesn’t bother me, what would bother me is if @Havenstone had actually removed the rape scene in the page he warned about for fear of offending someone. Although I admit that I found his falling all over himself to apologize for writing it somewhat concerning.

Interestingly enough, social norms change slowly over time, and as social norms change, so do expected courtesies. The lack of a unified societal norm, as one set of norms hasn’t fully fallen, and a replacement hasn’t been fully been accepted, creates quite a lot of misunderstandings.

@P_Tigras My position is basically yours with the addition that exposure to a certain amount of bluntness is ultimately in the interest of the parties in question, which is to say, it is good that people learn to overcome their sensitivity, - and consequently, any well-meaning but misguided attempt to accommodate is overall detrimental.

But still, the topic!

Yes! The topic! Is there way to use magic without using blood? Not that we would know of it this early on, but still, it would an amazing thing to discover, as one of a few amazing things the MC could do