Weave is a storytelling game where players scan tarot-style cards in order to discover their adventures. For the 22 Story cards, each of the following qualities were written per card for Umbral: 1 boss, 1 theme, 2 locations, 2 plot twists, 2 NPCs, 2 enemies, 2 items, 1 signature move, 4 flaws, 4 talents, 4 backstories for a total of 550 pieces of fiction and gameplay that can intersect in nearly infinite combinations.
Co-written with Nate Weisman, Umbral takes cyberpunk to 1978 in the United States, where fantastical creatures, civil rights movements, and magitech corporations clash. These samples are transposed from Markdown formatting and represent solo and collaborative efforts. Full playset document available upon request.
Card / Type: Inferno / Boss
Details: Inadvertently created by the engineers at Ignition's lab, Tryuhne was a test subject. Ignition attempted to transfer the memories from a Shade into a human, theoretically granting them their knowledge and skills. The spell succeeded all too well, transferring the Shade's abilities but also two of their previous lives and souls. The three personalities trapped inside agreed to respond to Tryuhne. They agree on little else besides getting revenge on Ignition for forcing them into a cluttered and short-lived human body.
Backstories: Three to One
A human body is a lousy vessel for one personality, let alone three.
+ 2 FLAMES
+ 2 BROOKS
+ 1 GALES
Talent 1: Spirit of Reprisal
When under attack, Tryuhne's souls grant their host body superhuman speed, allowing for a quick counterattack.
Mechanic: Whenever a character successfully attacks Tryuhne in Melee Range, they must take a GALES Challenge, difficulty 2. If they fail they take 3 Strikes of damage.
Talent 2: Beyond Physical Constraints
The spirits trapped within Tryuhne push free, emerging as incorporeal vengeants intent on destroying whoever threatens their host body.
Mechanic: Tryuhne may increase the difficulty of all Challenges it makes this turn by 1 to take an additional action. Tryuhne may activate this talent up to 2 times a turn.
Talent 3: Spiritual Warfare
One of the three souls leaves Tryuhne's body and grapples with their enemy. They knock the foe's spirit right out the body, battling them in their incorporeal form.
Mechanic: Tryuhne makes a FLAMES Challenge and deals Strikes of damage equal to the number of successes above the Challenge difficulty.
Range: MELEE, SHORT, LONG
Flaws: Battle for Control
Tryuhne's human host takes full control over their body from time to time, but unfortunately that greatly limits the powers of the two other souls contained within.
Mechanic: Roll a die on each of Tryuhne's turns. If a STONES, STRIKE, or Weave symbol is rolled as result, increase the difficulty of all Challenges made by Tryuhne by 1 and add 1 additional die to all Challenges made against Tryuhne.
Inventory: Rune Inscribed Sword
Ancient runes cover the blade, erupting in flames with each swing.
Mechanic: Deals 4 Strikes of damage to each character in range.
Trigger: 2 FLAMES
During a successful attack, the target is lit on fire, dealing 2 Strikes of damage each turn until the effected character make a successful GALES Challenge to put the fire out.
Card / Type: Gallows / Location
Title: Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Details: Home to some of the most famous departed souls to ever grace the big screen. Here you can find the spirits of Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin, Hattie McDaniel, Bugsy Siegal, and many more rising up from their graves as visitors pay their respects and dig for juicy gossip.
Card / Type: Mountain / Signature Move
Title: Avalanche Punch
Details: An ancient proverb of the Stones Cabal claims that duty is heavier than a mountain. This is both a source of strength and a key phrase for a powerful evocation which grants the magician unbelievable strength, but only for a moment.
Mechanic: Once per session, you can knock an opening through all but the thickest of walls and doors with an effortless punch or deal 10 Strikes of damage.
Card / Type: Tome / NPC
Title: Emperor Excellius, Volume 1
Details: Trapped within this leather-bound volume is the spirit of the cursed Emperor Excellius. Or so he claims. The emperor sought magicians from across the world in an effort to find the immortal elixir, the Fountain of Life. Though long forgotten, his life is documented in these pages, starting with his birth. Whatever happened, what's clear is that this book can talk, and it really doesn't want to shut up. Clearly, this animated tome needs friends. You could be those friends or you could leave it on whatever dusty shelf you found it on, but this chatty grimoire claims to have seen something that could help you on your mission. But then again, he probably says that to everyone.
Card / Type: Dusk / Item
Title: Commodore PET
Description: With this heavily modified Commodore, you can hack into local network ands overtake communications. This effectively allows you to steal and alter data. Armed with a number of 5.25 inch floppy disc drives, you can easily store tons of data. Nearly 1.5 MB.
Mechanic: Gain 1 additional die on all Challenges when hacking into computing systems.
Card / Typle: Watchtower / NPC
Title: Cowlin Grim, Head Magistrate
Details: Cowlin Grim leads the Court of Magistrates among the Fae. She oversees all hearings on magical misconduct, ensuring that the Fae law is always interpreted closely to the founding Fae's vision. Of course that vision has come under some scrutiny as the times have changed dramatically. With large bulbous eyes, she watches over the proceedings, often listening politely to mortals before casting them into the Pit of Justice.