Malazan Empire: What kind of stories would you like to see/read/play/experience in the world of MBotF? - Malazan Empire

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What kind of stories would you like to see/read/play/experience in the world of MBotF?

#1 User is offline   Karsa Orlong 

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 03:42 PM

Ok, sorry for the pretty vague thread title...but I wanted as many eyes on it as possible ^_^

Also, hi! *waves* Veeeery loooooong time, no see. Crazy how time flies... ahem ... anyway...on with it... :

I'm considering starting a ttrpg campaign in the world of Malazan with my RL group. And I'm debating what kind of story I want to tell...(there are just soooo many possibilities in this deep and huge world).

So I thought I'd ask you folks, the Malazan-Experts, for what you would like to experience in the world of Malaz?

If you are not a ttrpg player, just ask yourself: what would i wish for if Erikson and/or Esslemont asked me what kind of story I wanted to read in the world of Wu (is that still its name?!).

Any and all help/ideas/wishes are very much appreciated!

P.S.: for the curious ttrpg geeks, I'll probably use Fate in its Strange Fate iteration or Cortex Prime for the rules-set. If that makes any difference ;)
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#2 User is offline   the broken 

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 07:09 PM

What kind of thing are your players into? Are you going for big epic scale or on a city level?

A lot of potential for the Claw, you can do political scheming or a straight bossfight as needed.

If you need freedom, you could go with Korel post Stormwall, you'd have freedom to do basically whatever you wanted.

The most fleshed out cities are Darujhistan, Malaz City, and Quon Tali (maybe Lether?), it would depend on if you wanted to do something new or revisit the series' greatest hits.
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#3 User is offline   Tsundoku 

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Posted 21 January 2024 - 02:20 AM

Well it depends what sort of campaign the players want, but I think 7 Cities pretty much any era is full of possibilities. All those crazy city states and tribes and history.
"Fortune favors the bold, though statistics favor the cautious." - Indomitable Courteous (Icy) Fist, The Palace Job - Patrick Weekes

"Well well well ... if it ain't The Invisible C**t." - Billy Butcher, The Boys

"I have strong views about not tempting providence and, as a wise man once said, the difference between luck and a wheelbarrow is, luck doesn’t work if you push it." - Colonel Orhan, Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City - KJ Parker
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#4 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 21 January 2024 - 04:43 AM

I'd start w a very simple hook.

A Claw/Talon/Whirlwind fanatic/Andii/Nameless One agent/whatever murdered a High Mage and stole a priceless magic thingy. Your empress/employer/lord/god/uncle wants it back. The killer cant travel by warren w the thingy, so they're trying to get to Wherever to meet whoever. You will intercept them in City, take the thingy back, and kill/capture the killer. They may have allies. Others may be looking for them. They may be sexy. Good luck.

...and off they go to Darujhistan or Black Coral or Malaz Island or Yghatan or wherever, to fight whoever. You wants Hounds, have the Hounds show up. Dragons, have Feral or Orfantal or someone make a play for the item. Assassins, no problem, lots of guilds and cults available. High risk? Have the confrontation happen on an Azath's front lawn. The setting offers so much to work with it can be a one hour single encounter or as long and complex as you want.
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#5 User is offline   Tsundoku 

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Posted 21 January 2024 - 08:05 AM

View PostAbyss, on 21 January 2024 - 04:43 AM, said:

I'd start w a very simple hook.

A Claw/Talon/Whirlwind fanatic/Andii/Nameless One agent/whatever murdered a High Mage and stole a priceless magic thingy. Your empress/employer/lord/god/uncle wants it back. The killer cant travel by warren w the thingy, so they're trying to get to Wherever to meet whoever. You will intercept them in City, take the thingy back, and kill/capture the killer. They may have allies. Others may be looking for them. They may be sexy. Good luck.

...and off they go to Darujhistan or Black Coral or Malaz Island or Yghatan or wherever, to fight whoever. You wants Hounds, have the Hounds show up. Dragons, have Feral or Orfantal or someone make a play for the item. Assassins, no problem, lots of guilds and cults available. High risk? Have the confrontation happen on an Azath's front lawn. The setting offers so much to work with it can be a one hour single encounter or as long and complex as you want.


That entire summary can work brilliantly as a series of dropdown menus. ;)
"Fortune favors the bold, though statistics favor the cautious." - Indomitable Courteous (Icy) Fist, The Palace Job - Patrick Weekes

"Well well well ... if it ain't The Invisible C**t." - Billy Butcher, The Boys

"I have strong views about not tempting providence and, as a wise man once said, the difference between luck and a wheelbarrow is, luck doesn’t work if you push it." - Colonel Orhan, Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City - KJ Parker
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#6 User is offline   Karsa Orlong 

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Posted 25 January 2024 - 07:54 PM

Thanks all for the input.

I guess i am pretty open on what kind of level the play will be. I like both, more intimate stories and epic and grand-scale stuff. I guess with Malazan I'd do the "start small, build up and go nuts" kind of thing. Of course depending on what the characters do (and/or what the players want to do).

I really like the idea that you provided, Abyss. So thanks for that. It's a good hook!

Starting point is a good question. I like Malaz City and the continent of Quon Tali. Although it's not as if the other locations around the Malaz world are less interesting. I have trouble to just pick one thing ^^
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#7 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 25 January 2024 - 07:58 PM

View PostTsundoku, on 21 January 2024 - 08:05 AM, said:

View PostAbyss, on 21 January 2024 - 04:43 AM, said:

I'd start w a very simple hook.

A Claw/Talon/Whirlwind fanatic/Andii/Nameless One agent/whatever murdered a High Mage and stole a priceless magic thingy. Your empress/employer/lord/god/uncle wants it back. The killer cant travel by warren w the thingy, so they're trying to get to Wherever to meet whoever. You will intercept them in City, take the thingy back, and kill/capture the killer. They may have allies. Others may be looking for them. They may be sexy. Good luck.

...and off they go to Darujhistan or Black Coral or Malaz Island or Yghatan or wherever, to fight whoever. You wants Hounds, have the Hounds show up. Dragons, have Feral or Orfantal or someone make a play for the item. Assassins, no problem, lots of guilds and cults available. High risk? Have the confrontation happen on an Azath's front lawn. The setting offers so much to work with it can be a one hour single encounter or as long and complex as you want.


That entire summary can work brilliantly as a series of dropdown menus. ;)



Also, Mad Libs!



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#8 User is offline   Imperial Historian 

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Posted 25 January 2024 - 09:33 PM

View PostKarsa Orlong, on 25 January 2024 - 07:54 PM, said:

Thanks all for the input.

I guess i am pretty open on what kind of level the play will be. I like both, more intimate stories and epic and grand-scale stuff. I guess with Malazan I'd do the "start small, build up and go nuts" kind of thing. Of course depending on what the characters do (and/or what the players want to do).

I really like the idea that you provided, Abyss. So thanks for that. It's a good hook!

Starting point is a good question. I like Malaz City and the continent of Quon Tali. Although it's not as if the other locations around the Malaz world are less interesting. I have trouble to just pick one thing ^^


A lot of the malazan gurps games which inspired the books were of a squad of marines/crimson guard/claw, I'd start with whichever of those most appeals to your players and go from there. You'll notice most of the squads in malazan are conveniently sized to make up a typical RPG group with maybe a DMPC to guide them along.
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#9 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 26 January 2024 - 02:21 PM

View PostImperial Historian, on 25 January 2024 - 09:33 PM, said:

View PostKarsa Orlong, on 25 January 2024 - 07:54 PM, said:

Thanks all for the input.

I guess i am pretty open on what kind of level the play will be. I like both, more intimate stories and epic and grand-scale stuff. I guess with Malazan I'd do the "start small, build up and go nuts" kind of thing. Of course depending on what the characters do (and/or what the players want to do).

I really like the idea that you provided, Abyss. So thanks for that. It's a good hook!

Starting point is a good question. I like Malaz City and the continent of Quon Tali. Although it's not as if the other locations around the Malaz world are less interesting. I have trouble to just pick one thing ^^


A lot of the malazan gurps games which inspired the books were of a squad of marines/crimson guard/claw, I'd start with whichever of those most appeals to your players and go from there. You'll notice most of the squads in malazan are conveniently sized to make up a typical RPG group with maybe a DMPC to guide them along.


Agreed. 'Squad of marines' in particular is an instant reason for whatever combination of characters to work together. Backstory can be as complex or dead simple as you like.
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