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Campaign: Binding Agreements

Campaign: Binding Agreements
The High Concept: Urban Fantasy at the Crossroads

Easy Pete looked both ways and then moved into the center of the intersection. With a flourish he produced a handful of sidewalk chalk and began drawing a complex image on the street. In a booming voice he began to intone. “Papa Legba Hear me and give me access to your servant High Tower and 85th” Pete Paused and took a swig of Rum, and chanted as he finished painting a veve on the street with chalk.

A few moments passed, he glanced around, confused, and began chanting again. After five more minutes he began to look about panicked. A car pulled up to the intersection and began honking it’s horn, Easy Pete moved off the street. Michael stepped out from the shadow of the doorway lighting a cigarette, “He’s not there is he?”

Pete jumped but quickly recovered, “No, What’s going on.”

Mike shook his head, “The small ones are disappearing, and taking their gifts with them, there’s more but not where Legba can hear.” He gestured broadly towards the crossroads.

Pete nodded, ‘Let’s get a drink”

The underground club was dark and smoke filled, ordinances be damned. Pete brought two beers to the table, “Now tell me what’s going on; I had to pay for these.”

Michael looked glumly into his glass. “The small crossroads have begun to fade, I’m not certain why. Tower 85th has been missing for two days.”

“I’ve never seen you around here, when did you make your deal?”

“Back when Tower was, something more. Before he was trading free drinks for chess games and bootleg cd’s Tower 85th had real power; The apartment building on the North Corner is where Norman Rockwell grew up.”

Pete paused, doing the math, “What did you get? What’s not working now that Tower’s gone?”

Michael powered down his beer, slamming the mug onto the table, “My Immortality. Let’s go we’ve got work to do…”

Campaign in Brief:
Is it worth it?

Every crossroad has a spirit, and every spirit has…desires, wants; some are simple and straightforward, while others are more, obscure, bizarre, distasteful. You bargain and haggle, deal and negotiate to fulfill these desires, for a price. You are a Trafficker, and as such possess whatever power you’ve been able to beg, buy or borrow from the Lwa of the crossroads…in exchange for this power you have given up, things…probably not your soul, not directly, that’s a sucker’s game but things…favors, tasks, dreams, memories, parts of what you are or what you will be or more realistically what you were before.

Is it worth it?

It’s a question wise Traffickers avoid. Whether you’ve given up the ability to taste vanilla or all your memories of your mother, you’ve given up something unique in exchange for something filthy and common, Power…but oh the power you have.

Well had really, the Lwa are disappearing and deals are breaking all over the place, which is forcing the normally solitary Traffickers to cluster together in an effort to figure out what’s gone wrong and how to stop it. It’s forcing them out into the open for the first time in generations…

Is it worth it?

Character Generation

Race: All characters are Human and begin with the normal Bonus Edge.

Attributes: Are Purchased as Normal

Skills: Are purchased as Normal. All characters should take the Trafficker skill

New Skill
Trafficker (Spirit):
Trafficker comprises the knowledge and understanding of the rituals used to summon the Lwa of the crossroads. This skill normally takes several minutes to use. Raises can be used to reduce that time. Some Crossroads Lwa (Like W Addison and N Clark in Chicago) are very powerful and may take multiple raises simply to summon, they are likely to be difficult to negotiate with as well. See Deals below

Edges and Hindrances: Are Purchased as Normal but Hindrances acquired as part of Deals do not generate the typical benefits. All Traffickers have the Partial Amnesia Hindrance sans benefit. Almost all Traffickers also take the Arcane Background Edge that is generally limited to Magic, but Miracles and/or Psionics may also be taken with the GM’s permission.

New Hindrance
Partial Amnesia (Minor):
You’ve bargained away small memories throughout your history as a Trafficker, to the point where you’re not even entirely certain what remembrances you’ve given up. This Hindrance presents itself in very minor ways.

New Edge
Knew Better:
This edge does nothing other than cancel out the Partial Amnesia Hindrance all characters start with, as the name suggests, you knew better… This edge has no effect on specific memory loss from deals (see below)

Is it worth it? It’s the question every Trafficker asks. Every Trafficker has given up more than they can remember in the name of power. Deals are what you make of them. Starting characters can have up to 10 points worth of deals, every benefit of a deal must be balanced with a point of obligation, let’s get those out of the way first.

Obligations come in 3 levels minor, meaningful and major.
Minor Obligations (1 point): Are small non-game changing deficiencies. Starting characters can choose up to three minor obligations and a character cannot normally carry more than 5 points worth of Minor Obligations. A minor Obligation is just that – The Lwa of Washington and Cherry longs to taste so you have given her your ability to taste processed sugar and the like.
Meaningful Obligations (2 point): Meaningful Obligations strike at the heart of your character. Giving up all memories of your childhood, forgetting how to drive a car and agreements to perform “services” for a Lwa are examples of Meaningful Obligations. With the GM’s permission Minor Hindrance can be substituted as a Meaningful Obligations. Starting Characters can choose up to three meaningful obligations and cannot normally carry more than 5 (10 points) meaningful obligations.
Major Obligations (3 point): Pick a Major Hindrance…or something every bit as affecting as a Major Hindrance. Starting Characters can begin with 1 Major Obligation, only the GM limits how many Major Obligations a player can carry.

Deals are powerful…very powerful. Each Deal Point can be used to purchase an Edge, An Attribute Point, or Two Skill Points regardless of current Attribute level. Two deal points can be used to purchase a racial special ability. Other effects can be negotiated with the GM. Deal points can never be spent to counteract the effects of Obligations. If the GM is concerned that an extra 10 Edges or Attribute points will overbalance a game feel free to double the Deal Point costs (2 points for an Edge or Attribute, 1 point per Skill Level, 4 points for a Racial Special Ability)

Players should roughly note what Obligation are attached to what Benefits and have a sense of where the deals were made.

New Deals:
Must be negotiated in play using Roleplaying and Common Sense

Lwa are summoned using the Trafficker skill. The ritual takes place in the center of the Crossroads and normally takes 3 minutes; raises can reduce the time by 1 minute per raise to a minimum of 1 minute.

Once the Lwa is present the negotiation should be Role-played but the costs should correspond to the guidelines above. Summoned Lwa may also be able and willing to provide information or temporary aide in exchange for more ephemeral gifts (Food, Drink, Rarities, etc) For Example the Lwa of W Addison and N Clark (Wrigley Field) might get you box seats and locker room access to a playoff game in exchange for a Jimmy Archer trading card, if it was signed you might be able to parlay that into the same for a full season. These minor deals happen all the time.

Minor Deals – Money, Immortality, Free Drinks:
Minor Deals happen all the time and generally speaking players should be able to assume that their characters have a sizable number of these in place at any time that make their lives, smoother. These are abilities that may be important to the character but aren’t really important to the game system; Money, Immortality and Free Drinks are pretty irrelevant when we’re talking about the kind of power Traffickers possess. Players should put together a list of example minor deals that are important to them and assuming the GM’s permission can reference others ‘on the fly’

Wait What Immortality…Minor?
Yes, unless the game’s taking place over 50 years Immortality is pretty irrelevant and while very few Traffickers get old and die it’s not really because they’ve cut deals it’s because power tends to draw fire

OK Sure but Money?
That one might just be me. The game has a system in place to deal with starting cash and the like that involves edges. The GM can opt to use that rather than my default of, ‘Yeah whatever, you have cash don’t push It.’ method of handling it.

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