The 6th Grail War

Master Features Package

Master Features Package

The following attributes are ‘Features’ that all Masters in the Grail War have. Because all masters have these Features, they are considered free for the purposes of character creation.

Command Seals

All Masters gain 3 Command Seals when they are chosen by the Grail System. The Seals appear on the back of one of the Master’s hands and are in the form of a red ideoglyph that can represent a variety of things to the Master. The Glyph has three portions, which fade to fuzzy bruises when used. Families who have participated in multiple Grail Wars have noted that there are similarities between their glyphs. Swords, circles and triangles are common themes, though wings, and other, less regular geometric configurations are also common.

Examples: http://images.wikia.com/typemoon/images/0/02/Command_spells_all.jpg

Command Seals represent the contract between a Master and Servant, though they manifest before the summoning ritual in most cases. Once a Servant has been summoned, the contract is bound into the Command Seals and the Servant is honor-bound to help his or her Master attain the grail. It is worth noting that a Servant is not bound to obey every order their Master might give, and has significant leeway when it comes to fulfilling their end of the contract.

In the event that a Servant directly disobeys their Master, a Command Seal can be used to force the Servant to obey. By invoking the Command Seal, and giving a clear verbal order, the Servant will be bound to follow the command until it is fulfilled or the Servant perishes. One of the 3 portions of the Seal will be consumed in this process. The more specific the command, the more forceful the Command Seal effect. General or open-ended commands have little effect, so a command like, “Obey me” would be much less effective than, “Strike down Saber with your Noble Phantasm.” Remember that Servants are generally inclined to follow their Master’s orders unless those order conflict with the Servant’s ethics or ideals. This is most often a problem with the Knight classes.

Command Seals can also be used to assist a Servant in accomplishing a difficult task. They represent a large volume of condensed Prana, and can be used to call your Servant to your side from any distance, or to send them to a specific location. They can also be used to temporarily eliminate wounds, curses or other harmful effects, though this is a strictly palliative treatment and will not eliminate the underlying problem, merely suppress it.

Another use is giving a Servant access to an ability they would not normally have access too, or an ability that has been locked. For example, in the 4th Grail War, Matou Kariya used two command seals to suppress his Berserker’s Mad Enhancement long enough to use a disguise ability that required significant self-control. These effects are also temporary, and may only last long enough to execute one ability.

In a pinch, Masters can channel the Prana from a Command Seal into a spell, though this is an incredibly inefficient usage and fails to use the underlying structure of the Command Seal to its full potential.

Upon the use of the third Command Seal (and the completion of any order given with that Seal), the contract between Master and Servant is terminated and the Servant is no longer bound to follow the orders of the Master. What happens next is largely up to the Master and Servant. Those with good relations can maintain their bond until the end of the Grail War or until one is defeated. More evil Servants may turn on their Masters.

Because this is the first time this Grail System has been used, there are no methods for recovering or gaining additional Command Seals.

Master’s Vision

Masters are given mystical insight into the abilities and parameters of other Servants. By concentrating on an enemy Servant for a round, Masters can derive their Class, Parameters and Skill ranks as well as general areas of expertise. Some Servants possess abilities that interfere with or prevent this ability from functioning. Also, Masters without any training in Magecraft will not know how to make use of this skill. It should be noted that the Master’s Vision ability only functions when directly observing a Servant, and will not work through scrying, familiars or technological methods of observation. The exception to this rule is lenses, such as those in binoculars.

The Grail System ranks Servant abilities on a scale from E to A. This ranking applies to the four basic statistics: Strength, Endurance, Agility and Mana, as well as all Class Skills and most Personal Skills.

Parameters –

For Parameters, the ranking system designates how far above the human average the Servant is. An E Rank indicates a level ten times the human normal, meaning even the weakest Servant can outperform a human in every category. Ranks for Parameters are as follows.

E Rank – 10 times human average
D Rank – 20 times human average
C Rank – 30 times human average
B Rank – 40 times human average
A Rank – 50 times human average.

There is also a ‘+’ designation that can be added to ranks. A single plus indicates that under some circumstances, the Parameter may function at up to double the indicated rank. For example, a Saber with a B+ in Endurance will resist damage well all of the time, but be functionally invulnerable to attacks made while under a full moon. Note that it is possible for a C+ Ranked Servant to outperform an A Ranked Servant if the confrontation takes place on the first Servants terms.

Skills –

Class Skills are always visible to Master’s Vision. These are abilities assigned by the Grail to Heroes summoned into classes, regardless of the actual skill possessed by the Heroic Spirit. Class skills are as follows:

Saber: Magic Resistance, Riding
Archer: Independent Action, Magic Resistance
Lancer: Magic Resistance, sometimes Riding
Berserker: Mad Enhancement
Rider: Riding
Caster: Territory Creation, Item Construction
Assassin: Presence Concealment

Sometimes a Servant can have Class Skills, such as Riding, while not being in a class that grants those skills. In these cases, the Class designation becomes Class/Personal.

Personal Skills represent the unique attributes of the Heroic Spirit that exists independently of the Class they are summoned in. Most Personal Skills are visible to the Master’s Vision ability, but some are not. These hidden personal skills typically represent some skill at deception.

Skills are rated E through A, like Parameters, but ranks of skills indicate competence rather than a comparison to a baseline Human. E rank would indicate a bare minimum of skill, while A would represent a grand master. The scaling of Class Skills will make itself known to masters, but it may be difficult to tell what abilities Personal Skills grant, as no explanation is provided.

As with Parameters, a ‘+’ designation exists for skills, again indicating that under some circumstances, the skill rank will function at up to double the normal ability value. There is also an EX Rank designation, indicating an exceptional ability. It applies only to Noble Phantasms and Skills. An EX rank indicates a skill level outside of the classification of the Grail System. This doesn’t always mean a raw power increase, but may also refer to abilities that break the rules of the Grail War, or Skills that don’t have a clear place within the sphere of combat.

Expertise –

This nebulous ability conveys a sense of a Servant’s strengths to the Master. It might useful, such as a sentence like “Excels at close combat, but is weak at range.” Or it might be incredibly cryptic, such as “Possesses untapped strengths.” Regardless, this information usually only has tactical value and is unhelpful in determining a Servant’s true identity.

Noble Phantasms –

While Master’s Vision will not reveal the nature of an enemy Servant’s Noble Phantasm, it can give information about Noble Phantasms that have been observed in action. Once a Phantasm has been seen while active and attacking, information about the ability is added to the mental database of the Servant. Noble Phantasms are ranked like skills, E through A with an EX designation. These ranks refer only to pure offensive power output, and may not give a true sense of the power of the ability. For example, a very precise C Rank Noble Phantasm might outperform an A Rank weapon with a much broader power output. A Noble Phantasm’s ideal targeting scale will also be revealed (Anti-Unit, Anti-Army… ect.) This information does not include the true name of the Noble Phantasm, though many Phantasms reveal their identity when used.

N.B. Servants are gifted with information about other Heroic Spirits by the Grail. They are naturally very good at figuring out how Noble Phantasm abilities work, as well as who wields which Noble Phantasms. That being said, they typically will not recognize other Heroic Spirits on sight unless they knew each other in life. Between the Master’s Vision and the Servant’s Grail-given information, enemy identities are normally fairly easy to deduce, once a Noble Phantasm has been used.

Master’s Vision has no applications outside of the analysis of Servants and cannot be used to ‘con’ other Masters.

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Gameplay and Logistics

Hey everyone,

I wanted to take some time to talk about the shape of the game, then go into some mechanical details as to how everything’s going to be run.

First, let me announce that the final selections have been made and all seven Master/Servant pairs are locked. I’ve started statting the NPC Masters and a few other characters who I foresee needing sooner rather than later. Once the NPC Masters are done though, I will be ready to play.

I’m also happy to announce that all four of the player Servants have been abstracted and many of their stats have been finished, though I’ve chosen not to distribute those until I have semi-finalized character sheets from everyone. That being said, I’m still waiting on first drafts from two of you and a finalized version from one of you, so get those done. *said with love

With that out of the way, let’s talk about how this whole Grail War thing is going to work.

6th Grail War Format –

Phases:

Gameplay will be divided into two phases: Day Phase and Night Phase. Because keeping magic a secret is a priority for all participants, combat is limited to the Night Phase. Conversely, preparation is handled during daylight hours. Communication between allied Masters is also possible during the Day Phase. Masters also need to rest during the daytime to a certain extent.

Ideally, Day Phase takes place during weekdays, and the following Night Phase will take place over the weekend when we can all dedicate a little more time to posting. Obviously, this won’t work most of the time and I foresee lots of Nights spilling over into the following weeks. That’s fine. I’m just prototyping here.

Day Phase:

During the Day Phase, players may queue up a series of preparatory actions (probably either 3 or 5 per day). These actions will be executed roughly simultaneously, but will describe activities that take time to perform. For example, a mage could prepare defensive measures for his hideout, creating traps or reinforcing the walls. These activities would take time, hence the limited number of actions per Day Phase. Other examples include:

Resting/Recovering mana
Planning an ambush
Creating magical items
Healing serious wounds
Spying on an opponent
Researching techniques or an opponent’s Servant

Depending on his/her skills and condition, a Master’s Servant may be able to assist with these tasks, or perform other tasks at the same time. However, Servants active during the day will drain their Prana supply as per normal and may weaken themselves for any fighting that might happen.

Additionally, a Master may transfer Prana to her Servant during the day at a more efficient rate than during battle. Servants naturally regenerate Prana while in Spirit form, but heavy battle or severe injuries may require additional Prana from the Master. In extreme cases, a Master may perform special rituals to infuse her Servant with an immediate reservoir of Prana. These rituals fall under the category of blood magic, as they require the transfer of Prana infused bodily fluids to the Servant.

Masters who are aware of each other may choose to try to communicate during the Day as well. Masters who are in temporary alliances may choose to coordinate their daylight efforts or share information, though many methods of communication can be intercepted or spied upon. Unless established by the events of the War, all Masters are assumed to not know one another. In-game communication should take place via Private Tagged forum posts and NOT PERSONAL MESSAGES so that I can track who is talking with who and what information from the daylight activities should be shared. This goes doubly so for communication with NPCs.

Once Day Phase actions have been queued up, they’ll all happen. If you queue a spying action and it succeeds, you’ll find out what another player (or NPC) was up to during the turn that you spied. All other actions will be kept secret until such time as they become relevant to combat.

Night Phase:

At night, Masters and Servants are free to engage in battle. Combat should take place in abandoned or lightly populated areas and all effort should be made to keep the events of the Grail War secret.

Like the series, Night Phase will start with teams executing various plans. I expect you all to be more plan-oriented then reaction oriented, but for the purposes of promoting conflict, all of the NPC Master/Servant pairs will have some sort of stratagem that the players can mess around with most nights.

At the beginning of a Night Phase, everyone will be made aware of certain public events. You will also have the option of creating a public event for the purposes of luring players into traps, meeting with them in the open or whatever else you can come up with tactically. Everyone will have the option of observing the events via familiar/scrying/ect., or participating in them directly. Each event will have its own thread which you will be given reading/posting rights to once you commit to your actions for the evening.

Once everyone has joined a thread for the evening (possibly two if the Master and Servant have split up NOT RECOMMENDED) Night Phase play will commence. It will continue until every event has reached a conclusion, with every Master/Servant pair either withdrawing or getting killed. Some threads will be non-violent and play can consist of discussions, observations ect. Other threads will devolve into combat. Once all parties present have agreed to fight (by not running away) initiative will be rolled and turn order imposed upon the thread.

Combat won’t be super reliant on exact distance calculations or positioning. I’ll do my best to post a current summary at the beginning of every new round so everyone’s on the same page (and so we can all spotcheck my reading of events) but any question about “can I do X to person Y” should be either really obvious or double checked with me.

To give an example, two Servants in Melee range can OF COURSE attack each other with their melee weapons, but if the Master hasn’t established his or her location and wants to attack a Servant, that should go through me. The summary should deal with the basic stuff, and I won’t hesitate to edit a post if everyone agrees that there was confusion on the execution of a turn.

PLEASE DO NOT POST OUT OF ORDER. I will simply delete posts that are outside of the initiative order that have not been cleared with me. Any rolls made as part of posts that get deleted will be thrown out. That being said, the BESM system uses defensive rolls which happen in response to attacks, so turn order in this case must include waiting for the target of your attack to defend against it (or choose not to).

Again, in example: Turn order for a thread resolves to Servant A → Servant B → Master B → Master A. Or: SA, SB, MA, MB. Servant A uses his turn to attack Master B, then Servant A attacks Servant B. The posting order would look like:

SA
MB (Defense)
SB
SA (Defense)

You may have noticed that in the example above, Servant A was able to attack Master B without any sort of interference. This is a thing that can happen because all the Servants have at least one rank of Superspeed, meaning they can get pretty much anywhere they want. To avert this problem, Servants may need to engage in contested movement rolls, which will just add to the complexity of the fights. Instead, I would ask that everyone just agree that Servants won’t attack Masters unless the defending Servant is incapacitated (or dead). We can talk more about this subject later.

As far as formatting your combat posts, please err on the side of more information. Post full attack and defensive math whenever possible. If you don’t want your stats to be shown off, make the math private for me only. It would also be nice if everyone added descriptive narrative to their attacks and defensive posts. One, it’ll make everything more interesting to read, and two, it makes the format choice more justifiable. This may get old with some of the attacks, but remember that no one else has ever seen what your character does (all weapons are custom created) so it would be nice to have a little description of your attacks for at least the first time you use them.

There’s more to talk about here, but I think I’ve done enough Info Dumping for one night. Please post any questions in the comments, ’cause if I fucked something up, everyone else needs to be aware of that too.

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The Elements

I wanted to post some more information about Elemental Affinities, partly because the Magus document was a little unclear and partly because in the 2 years since I originally created that document, I’ve changed my mind about a few things.

If you read the whole section on creating a Magus, you might remember that I went off on a bit of a tangent in the Rituals section about how your Elemental Affinities affected how you did things. This section needs clarification. Also, the descriptions of the Fire and Air elements are pretty much just wrong.

In addition to control of a Classical Element, your Affinity also gives you control over one of a fundamental aspect of thermodynamics. Everything in the world eventually comes down to thermodynamics (or quantum) so this control over an aspect of thermodynamics means that it’s basically possible for your mage to do anything within the realm of physics and a whole bunch of stuff outside of that. Chemical reactions, manipulating matter or energy and much much more are all options for your mages. The only question is how much energy will it cost.

In the example in the ritual section, I wrote out some of the ways the different Affinities could accomplish the same task, but never really explained what the basic concepts you were manipulating. I’ll do that now.

Fire

In addition to direct control combustion and fire itself, the Fire Element holds domain over Kinetic Energy (Please note, this is different than what’s in the guide. I’ll edit that later) Fire Affinity mages can transfer kinetic energy between reactions, effectively moving heat, to slow or accelerate those reactions. They can also draw heat energy from warm objects to help enhance spells. Fire mages are good at Evocation

Water

Water Affinity allows a mage to manipulate most liquids, including many of the body’s components. They can also control the state of matter, and can shift solids to liquids, liquids to gasses ect. The further an object is shifted from its resting state, the more Prana the mage has to expend to get it there. Making a rock into gas is much harder than making water into ice. They can also apply this fractionally, taking advantage of things like ice being at its densest at near-zero degree temperatures. Water mages tend to be good at Transmutation.

Earth

The Earth Affinity is more abstract than some of the other ones in that it deals with the storage of prana in physical objects. While all mages can accomplish this feat with some training, Earth mages are much better at it, and they’re even better at getting the Prana back out again. They can also use that stored energy much more quickly. Unlike Mystic Codes, which require rituals to prepare and create, Earth mages can embed and extract Prana on the fly, which has lots of combat applications. Earth mages are naturally talented at Alchemy.

Air

Air is the Affinity of motion and space. Air mages are less adapt at direct interference with reactions but do have a significant advantage over other Affinities. Air mages can control motion vectors of objects (also different), or even of small particles if it comes down to it, but don’t have broad control over volumes of space in the same way that a Fire mage might. They’re advantage comes being able to transmit magical energy over longer distances, through the air itself. Air mages are multi-talented, but are strong in the field of Illusions.

Void

Void is the affinity of Conjuration. The creation of matter or raw energy from Prana. While all Affinities can control energy to some extent, only the Void mage can create it from nothing but his will. Void is an incredibly taxing element that requires more Prana to accomplish many of the same things as the other Affinities, but the payoff comes in terms of increased direct control and a low rate of secondary effects. Void mages are, obviously, good at Conjuration, though that may not extend to the healing aspects of that school.

Hopefully that helps clear things up. If I’ve screwed any of you over horribly, message me.

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Updates!
New things!

First, thank you all for getting registered and set up here at Obsidian Portal. I don’t think we’ll be using this for anything other than hosting all the documents I’ve been creating, but it makes for a nice way to message you all at the same time.

I’m in the process of uploading more documents on mage creation today and next week and I should have all of the relevant info up by next weekend (unless I decide to write another 10 page thing…). From this point on, anything posted here is for public consumption. Anything I may have linked you in the past, including draft versions of things posted here, incomplete setting documents and Servant concepts are not to be shared. Most of them are obsolete and could prove to be confusing. Only information posted here is still relevant. If you are missing something critical, please let me know and I will post it to the wiki.

Second, as you all are starting the process of creating mages and selecting your Heroic Spirit, please know that I am removing Caster from the pool of available Servants. I need that class for storyline purposes and it is by far the hardest to balance so I am removing the temptation now. All 6 other classes are available and the NPCs will summon after you do to maximize your odds of getting what you want.

Please note, any Servant concepts created by me during pre-production are off limits for selection. This is because some of them were shared around so I could get feedback on my designs and their identities and abilities may be known to other players. If you really want to play one of the Servants created in this fashion, we can work something out, but you’d be better off coming up with something new.

Finally, I may have a 4th for the game. AJ has expressed an interest in joining us. I’m going to chat with him tonight and we’ll see if he’s up for it. If he is, I’d like to move into character creation as soon as I’ve posted everything.

Thanks everyone!

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Take 2
Um... we doing this?

So… maybe this is happening after all. The past month or so has been a pretty heavy exercise in (PLAYING XILLIA) creating Servants and testing the limits of the BESM system (there are none). I have 14+ Servants in my pocket and some of them even have stats.

That being said, there’s still a lot of work left to do. I’d like to start people making Masters sooner rather than later, because helping them make people will help me make more people, and because at some point I’m going to have to throw out all the Servants I made in pre-planing and make somewhere between 3-10 more. There’s always work to be done! Huzzah!

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Development: Phase 2
Reeeeeesearch

I’ve been doing some fairly intensive research into the Fate/Stay Night universe over the past few weeks. Devouring the American Type-Moon Wikia, digging out my copies of the Animes of F/SN and Lunar Legend Tsukihime. I downloaded and watched most of the Kara no Kyoukai movies and, of course, I’ve still been keeping up with Fate/Zero.

Additionally, my copy of Fate/EXTRA arrived yesterday and I just found out I could download Fate/Unlimited Codes to my PSP from the PSN. Only about 2/3rds of all this media is going to be relevant to the campaign, but that’s still a lot of material to hash through. Two conclusions: There’s no way I’m going to retain half of what I need at the rate I’m currently going, and wouldn’t it be nice to share some of this information with the players?

So the current project, in addition to the ongoing world building, character creation and storyline conception, I’ve decided to ‘blog’ my entire collection of Type-Moon material. All here. All for anyone to find. These blogs will be posted to the Adventure Log section of the Campaign Wiki with the tagline “Type-Moon.” They will also be discontinued before play begins, so the log can be kept clean for the players. If time allows, (it won’t) I’ll move completed material over to the Wiki proper.

There isn’t going to be a distinct order to this. I’ll be watching episodes of the older Anime, while playing Fate/EXTRA and keeping current on Fate/Zero, so everything’s going to be in a jumble. I’ll try to parse some annotations so people won’t be completely lost, but the point of the blogs is as a summary of interesting or useful information/facts anyway. Ideally, the blogs won’t be confusing to start with, but we’ll see how things turn out.

Tsuzuku!

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Development: Phase 1
Recruitment and Relations

I’m just going to make some notes here on the development process for the 6th Grail War. It’s been about a week since I started working on this project. I’ve been very much inspired by the recent anime releases of Fate/Zero and started working on a project to abstractly stat a set of Servants using Type-Moon’s own system. From there, it wasn’t a huge leap to creating statistics in a less abstract system. I was familiar with the BESM system and after a few hours of research, I came to the conclusion that as long as I wasn’t running a traditional campaign that required lots and lots of monsters, BESM would be just fine.

And here we are.

I’ve spent the week working on moving series concepts into statted realities and compiling that information into a Character Creation document, which I’ll be moving onto the wiki tonight or tomorrow. I’ve also fleshed out some of the setting details, such as moving the Grail War to Salem, Mass; a location I’m more familiar with than the fictional Fuyuki City. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that Fate/ has made the jump to the US. In the ‘approved’ fan fiction/scrubbed game concept, Fate/Strange Fake, the Grail War was moved to to the fictional town of Snowfield in northern California. I’m following the general shape of the Strange Fake setting, including the involvement of the US Military and the distortion of the original Grail System.

My primary concern at this junction is players. I’m hoping to fill five seats, leaving me in control of only two Master/Servant pairs, but I can probably make the game function with as few as three. Because most of the gameplay is going to be effectively PvP, I’m hoping that I can get players that all get along fairly well. Not having a lot of luck so far. I have one confirmed player and one tentative yes pending confirmation of the game. I have a bad track record with bringing game concepts to the playable phase, so hopefully this digital system will help keep me on track.

Next: Why Attributes make my head hurt.

Tsuzuku!

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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