The Faust Chronicles

This entry is part of the PBM List.

Costs: Free
Frequency: Minimum 1 per week
URL: [ dead link ]
Type: collaborative horror story
Last-Update: 2009Jul12
Keywords: free, open-ended, www, human, vampire, rpg


Now Casting Submissions are open until Friday, July 24.

The Faust Chronicles is a small low powered campaign with skilled investigators thrust into deadly situations. Centered in London, the team will travel through out the UK, possibly to other countries with a strong possibility of crossovers in the future. The focus will be on character development, how the characters cope with constant exposure to corrupting influences, and character interaction, perhaps more so than other campaigns.

System and Pace: The Faust Chronicles is first and foremost a collaborative piece of fiction, not a game. We will not be using any specific game system to build characters or adjudicate scenes. It's all about the story, the flow and the characters.

Due to my own personal time constraints the official pacing of the game will be slow, at best I can only commit to one official game post a week. The players may post as little or as much as they like, you'll have as much creative control to drive the story as I do.

Tense: The Bulk of the game will be writtne in 3rd person past tense. Solo fiction pieces, blog pieces, journals etc, can be written in whatever tense you like, but for consistency, the official game pages will be in the 3rd person past tense.

Importance of the Player Characters: The characters will be central to the campaign, though not necessarily known outside of their organization. While definitely heroic, these characters will not be considered heroes. Simply because of the nature of the threat, they will be tasked with keeping their activities out of the public eye as much as possible and will rarely receive public recognition for their efforts. While saving the world from evil, they will be doing it one soul at a time.

World Description: While the world is a comic book world primarily based on the world today, the world of the Faust Chronicles has some slight, if significant differences. The main being that magic exists, is very functional and carries a heavy price to wield. Other dfferences include metas, comic book technology, and creatures of myth and legend still secretly roam the earth.

The Story So Far: Throughout humanity's history, stories abound of wondrous objects of power that bestow gifts of strength, speed, and grace on the bearers. The fabled sword Excalibur, the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant, and Jason's Golden Fleece are but a few examples. Heroes always wielded these objects, strong and just people who use the powers and abilities gained for the good of humanity. Once these wondrous artifacts have served their purpose, they are usually set aside, hidden and protected, to prevent their power from falling into the 'wrong hands.'

Few, if any, tales tell of the other side of the coin. As sure as there is light, there is also darkness. Fell weapons; rings; rods; objects that twisted, corrupted and damned their bearers are not the stuff of legends; they are the stuff of nightmares. Throughout time, these objects were coveted. Some yearn for the power the objects provide, willing to brave the corruption for they themselves are corrupt. Others search to find these objects, destroying them if possible, to remove their taint from the world. Most of the items of legend and myth had faded from memory, their power waning and finally disappearing as the level of magic and belief in the world declined. During the early stages of the decline, several societies both secular and non-secular in nature sprang into being, to try to find and remove these darker objects from the grasp of the general populous.

Some attempted to destroy the objects; others just stockpiled them, standing vigilance against any that might try to obtain them. As magic declined, so did the vigilance and interest in many of these orders until only one remained, the Order of the Phoenix.The society's members were from all lifestyles, peasant, noble, clergy, and university. As belief waned and interest turned towards the sciences, the Order moved quietly into the background of mainstream society. The objects were secreted in hidden and protected vaults throughout Europe, with the largest Cache being kept in a sealed and guarded vault in London.

The Order fell into near obscurity, its membership cut to a handful of carefully selected and initiated members. During the early 20th century, a sharp rise in the world's cycle of magic began to concern the remaining members of the now renamed Phoenix Foundation. The items they had been guarding for centuries began to become dangerous again. Their greatest fear became reality almost overnight. A new recruit from the emerging spiritualist movement succumbed to the temptation and appropriated that which he had pledged to guard.Under the influence of one of the more powerful objects designed to sow chaos and disorder, the recruit, an Edgar Faust, opened a curio shop in Surrey. Using the objects he had taken as inventory, Faust sold and distributed the cursed objects to unsuspecting residents and tourists.

The Phoenix Foundation finally tracked Faust down, but his original stock was gone, the only piece left was that which had him enthralled. A struggle ensued for Faust's soul. Unfortunately the Foundation representative failed and both lost their lives, though the object in question was destroyed.

Nearly a century of search and research led the Foundation to only a small percentage of the more than 200 objects stolen by Faust. With the emergence of magic and metas as more prevalent, the potential for disaster has increased exponentially. It was clear that the old methods of investigation and recovery were not enough to prevent disaster. The Phoenix Foundation began its search for the best and brightest the mundane world has to offer. Unwilling to reveal itself and it's mission publicly due to society's general disbelief in matters mystical, the Foundation has decried the use or recruitment of the more powerful metas due to the publicity surrounding them. Instead, they turned again to the areas that best served them in the past, the Universities, the clergy, the police and military.

Local Relations: Police, fire departments and other governmental agencies are more than willing to take the characters' calls, but may not respond as expected. The characters will be part of a private foundation with no police powers and treated like any normal citizen. The Phoenix Foundation is considered a well-respected non-profit organization, helping various charities and public good works. Its members are respected, if considered slightly eccentric.

Morality: While the campaign premise is black and white, the characters will be tasked with recovering cursed objects, many of which corrupt and slay, not only the users, but innocents around them. The characters will have to make hard choices and deal with the consequences of those decisions as they affect their own lives and the lives around them. This has the potential for adult rating, all such files will be marked as such, though we will make a serious attempt to keep the bulk of the campaign pg-13.

Realism: The Faust Chronicles, while based on the supernatural, will be a fairly realistic campaign but with some opportunity for cinematic efforts. Characters will not die unless they prove themselves too stupid to live or are going out in a blaze of glory. However, the going will not be easy.

Outlook: The campaign will be dark in tone, as the characters will be battling cursed objects and people who have succumbed to the evil influence of these objects.

Seriousness: The campaign will be fairly serious, though a creative player will find chances to inject some humor through character interactions.

Continuity: While the character development will be serial, the campaign scenarios will be episodic in nature with some serial portions. The character's actions, successes and failures while not readily apparent, can and will have impact on future episodes.


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Greg Lindahl