Deus Vult

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Hionhurn
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Deus Vult

Postby Hionhurn » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:38 pm

Is this game self contained or will I need to buy RQII books as well and if so which ones are recommended.

Thanks,
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hegan
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Postby hegan » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:39 pm

just a setting it seems

so you need the rulebook ...
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Postby Hionhurn » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:10 pm

Oh thats a shame, I was hoping it was self contained :-<
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Postby soltakss » Sun May 02, 2010 12:33 am

I've bought it and will give a full review once I have read it properly.

In the meantime ...

Deus Vult also has a little scenario generator for those GMs too lazy to think up their own plots.

In an attempt to help those GMs who are too lazy to roll more than two dice, I have generated 2000 plots for you. It's in Excel, but I could always save it as a text file for those who cannot handle Excel files.

Just roll 1D20 and 1D100 and read the plot from the description.

Unfortunately, I can't help those GMs who are too lazy to roll two dice ...
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Postby Stainless » Sun May 02, 2010 8:52 am

I picked up the book yesterday (thanks Matt!) and it looks very nicely produced. It's mainly fluff with rules related to things like character generation. Despite the fact that the subject will unavoidably be derivative and a bit cheesy in places, it looks like a really interesting read with lots of ideas.

Contents;

Introduction - 3 pages
Character creation - 15 pages
Solis Sacerdotis - 20 pages (a history and structure of the Order)
The Instruments of God - 15 pages (equipment (very steam punkish), alchemical components and relics)
The Mont StMichel - 5 pages (map and detail about the Abbey)
Bretheren of the Order - 21 pages (notable NPCs of the Order)
Gifts and Miracles - 5 pages (spells and such like)
The Church - 7 pages (historical orientation to the period, including some key NPCs)
The Enemy - 20 pages (cults, examples and rules to make your own, and sorcerers)
The Occult - 11 pages (witchcraft, minor spells, grimoires, spells, horrors and magic items)
Bestiary - 23 pages (as you'd expect)
Secrets of the Order - 4 pages (background stuff you can throw into your adventures)
Running Deus Vult - 8 pages (advice and adventure generation tables)
Index - 2 pages
Character sheet - 2 pages
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K Peterson
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Postby K Peterson » Sun May 02, 2010 5:09 pm

I'm intrigued to pick up Deus Vult. It looks like it has potential to be a worthwhile pseudo-historical setting. Like, what Cthulhu: Dark Ages could have been with a tighter focus.

I've heard rumors that DV gives a few nods to Assassin's Creed. Any truth to that?
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Postby dbhoward » Wed May 05, 2010 1:02 am

OK... your contents list doesn't say but it's strongly implied PCs have to be members of the Order. Is this so? Suppose you have no interest in being the Pope's Special-Forces Taliban. :wink: Can you use this supplement as a generic middle ages sourcebook?
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soltakss
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Postby soltakss » Wed May 05, 2010 8:57 am

Deus Vult is strongly focussed on PCs being members of the Order. It might work with PCs being chased or invesitgated by the Order (i.e. having Order members as NPCs).

The background is OK for a generic medieval supplement, but if you want that then I'd get Stupor Mundi, Merrie England or Val de Loupe. I am biased, though ...
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Postby Mugen » Wed May 05, 2010 9:47 am

dbhoward wrote:OK... your contents list doesn't say but it's strongly implied PCs have to be members of the Order. Is this so? Suppose you have no interest in being the Pope's Special-Forces Taliban. :wink: Can you use this supplement as a generic middle ages sourcebook?
Definitely not.

The supplement is so narrowly focused on The Order and its enemies that it Contains almost no information on daily life or medieval society.

The only useful chapters would be those dedicated to The Order's enemies and bestiary for occult scenarios.
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Postby Stainless » Wed May 05, 2010 11:12 am

As Mugen has written. I'm sure there's some resources that could be used very generally with a non-DV campain but in the same period, but it wouldn't be much. This is in comparison to something like The Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane which would be a much better resource for a non-SK campaign.
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Postby RosenMcStern » Wed May 05, 2010 11:29 am

Caveat: like Simon, I am a bit biased about this, as it is more or less all stuff that we publish. The books you might want to use for "generic " Medieval information are the ones mentioned by Soltakss above, but most of all Merrie England, which was specifically designed to be compatible with both editions of RuneQuest. This is not true of the other two books mentioned, which are for BRP or for RuneQuest first edition.

That said, having Deus Vult will make you no harm if you want to run a medieval campaign.
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Postby dbhoward » Wed May 05, 2010 7:00 pm

Thanks so much everyone for the replies! This kind of guidance from the community is what I like about this forum.
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Postby soltakss » Thu May 20, 2010 11:15 pm

Deus Vult

This is a fairly thick hardback with a nicely restrained cover. Inside, it looks good, well laid out with some internal artwork.The artwork is, by and large, OK, but a bit modern for the setting. There are some maps, of Western Europe and of Mount St M ichel, which are good but it could have done with more.

Introduction - This is written from the viewpoint of the Order. It covers areas such as On the History of the Order, On the Nature of the Order, On the Duties of the Order, On the Structure of the Order, On the Teaching of Initiates, On the Abbey of St M ichel, On the Blessed Ring and the Order's Salvation and On the Furtherance of Our Blessed Task. These are very interesting and give a flavour of what it means to be part of the Order.

Character Generation - Characters start as Seasoned, with all Characteristics over 6 or more, as the Order only accepts the best. Order Training is interesting with skills increased based on your highest Characteristic rather than being in a profession. Later Recruits can be from the backgrounds of Poor, Outlaw, Urban, Educated or Noble. Order members can belong to different Professions of Acrobat, Alchemist, Animal Trainer, Bard, Bandit, Beggar, Blacksmith, Clergy, Courtier, Craftsman, Diplomat, Farmer, Fisherman, Herdsman, Hunter, Knight, Nobleman, Noblewoman, Monk, Mercenary, Merchant, Miner, Physician, Sailor, Scholar, Soldier/Warrior, Spy, Thief, Thug, Tracker, Wife, Whore, Witchhunter, Woodsman and Village Priest. There are tables showing random events that could have happened to you in the past, with an Order Event Table and an Occult Event Table for each background, these can add some flavour to your personal history. The community of Faith allows you to generate allies, contacts, enemies and rivals, rounding off your character nicely. This chapter allows you to roll up a character with a lot of flavour, having professions and backgrounds suited to the period and with a lot of extra fluff and history. This is how Character Generation should be done.

Solis Sacerdotis - This describes the history and structure of the Order, with sections of A History Noble and Unknown, Structure of the Order, Hieromonks, The Order and the World, The Master, Claustral Priors, Obediantry Priors, Preceptors, The Superior General, Breviary, A Demon-Haunted World and The Enemy. These contain a short history of the Order, together with excerpts from the Gospel of St Thomas, an interesting take on a Catholic Order, as well as a description of the structure and hierarchy of the Order. There are many things about this that are good, some of the background pieces introduce outside events in an easy to read way. This is a very good background chapter.

The Instruments of God - This contains descriptions of the tools and equipment in the Order. It covers a number of weapons, magical items, weapons, weapon improvements, armour improvements, wondrous devices, alchemical compounds, and relics. What can I say? These are crunchy, useful, fit the setting perfectly and would make an old roleplayer very happy indeed. Excellent stuff.

The Mont St-M ichel - Yes, there is a space in the middle of Michel, this is repeated in each of the chapter headings containing the word but not in the text, this must have a hidden meaning in the game which, I am sure, will be revealed in a later supplement. This is a very short chapter showing the layout of the Abbey that acts as the Headquarters of the Order. Short but sweet, this could have been expanded on.

Brethren of the Order - This is a series of NPCs, some are members of the Order, others are contacts and even rivals and enemies. Overall, these are good, well-balanced, well thought out sets of NPC statistics. This finishes off with a number of playable pre-generated PCs which could be used in a convention or one-off game.

Gifts and Miracles - This covers Preternatural Gifts, the equivalent of Legendary Abilities and Miracles, the equivalent of Divine Magic or Merrie England/Stupor Mundi Blessings. The Preternatural Abilities are OK, but are heavily combat-oriented whereas I'd have preferred some that reflect the period. Miracles work well, with some new spells and a list of standard RQ spells available to the Order.

The Church - This covers the Catholic Church of the period with sections of The Inquisition, The Templars and Witch-Hunters. This is a very short section and could have been a lot longer and more detailed. The Church and Crusaders are very briefly covered but these are very sketchy descriptions indeed. I'd have liked this to have been expanded on, to be honest.

The Enemy - This describes the enemies of the Order. It splits enemies into Monsters, Cultists, Sorcerers and Heretics. It covers Cults, Sorcerers, Heresies and Impediments. The Cults section describes what cults are, gives some cult structures, shows how to use cults in the game and gives some sample cults. There are tables on Cult Brands, Ritual Sites, Force and Supernatural. The Sample Cults are OK, nothing special but could be used in most games. Sorcerers contains a very brief description of how to locate. observe and eliminate the sorcerer. Heresies also contains a very short description of the main heresies of the time. These are very short and contain no information about how these heresies work. Impediments have a couple of examples of people whose presence threatens the Order. Overall, these are very brief descriptions of the enemies of the Order and should have been expanded on.

The Occult - This describes the Occult as seen from the Order's perspective. It covers Lore (Occult), Lore (Alchemy), Witchcraft, Grimoires, New Sorcery Spells, Horrors and Magical Items. Lore (Occult) describes how to cast minor spells. Lore (Alchemy) describes nothing but has a table of alchemical compounds. Witchcraft briefly covers how witches work and what magic they can use. Grimoires lists a number of sorcerous tomes with the spells and skills they contain. New Sorcery Spells gives some new spells, which seem reasonable. Horrors describes supernatural overspill that causes horros in the world. These are pretty good and could be used in any campaign. Magical items contains a few items that could be used as loot items. These are all pretty good, standard occult things.

Bestiary - These describe those creatures that oppose or help the Order. It is split into Servitors and Making Monsters. These are not very well organised, I'd have thought that it should have been split into Servitors, Demons, NPCs and Making Monsters, but hey-ho, I didn't write it. Servitors has descriptions of Ghouls, Goblyns, Hellhounds, Lesser Spirits, Genii Loci, Shades, Wraiths, Melusines, Nightfolk, Werewolves, Woodwoses and Worm-Men. These are pretty good and would make good monstrous opponents. Making Monsters describes how to create new Monsters, covering Concept, Characteristikcs, Drawbacks and Traits. Then follows a number of other individual monsters - The Beast of Gubbio, Naberius Demon of Wise Counsel, Balash, Tiews God of Justice, The Shade of Archbishop Adalberon, The Ogre Heretic and the Linton Worm. These are reasonably good and usable.

Secrets of the Order - This includes Doom of the Order, The Prior of the Crypts, The Eastern Order, Does God Exist, Ex Malum Bono and the Divine Path. These are Secrets with a large amount of potential mystery and scenario hooks. Standings describes how members of the Order can fall from grace, either through Impurity or Impiety, and gives each a series of levels measuring how impure or impious a character is. This is a nice idea and could be very useful.

Running Deus Vult - The role of the Deus Vult Gamesmaster is: To Create missions to challenge the Adventurers; Throw fiendish puzzles, horrific foes and moral dilemmas in their path; Roleplay the various members of the Order, cultists, nobles, priests and commoners. The World of Deus Vult basically says that any real world event of the time could have a magical/occult explanation. The Order contains different ways to use the Order in games. Mission framework is a template of each mission, how it should be broken down, but if every Mission used this it would be incredibly boring. Campaigns gives some sketchy ideas of using campaigns, with Order Agents, A Preceptry of our Own, The Tide of History, Renegades and the End of the World. These are interesting ideas, but hardly groundbreaking. Finally, there are tables to generate random plots and missions for those Gamesmasters too lazy to think up their own.

Overall, what can I say about Deus Vult? It is a good supplement and captures the flavour of the setting very well indeed. What is done well is done very well indeed. However, what is sketchy is also very sketchy. There are a lot of things which could have been expanded on and a lot of things that have been glossed over. There is also no scenario and precious few scenario hooks and it could have done with a short mission to give it flavour. I'd give it an A-, if it had a scenario it would have got an A and if it had fleshed out some of the sketchy areas it would have got an A+. But it didn’t so it gets an A-. I'd recommend anyone interested in the era to go out and buy this, though.
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Merrie England (Medieval RPG): http://merrieengland.soltakss.com/index.html
http://www.soltakss.com/index.html
Alternate Earth: http://alternateearthrq.soltakss.com/index.html
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Postby Mytholder » Thu May 20, 2010 11:29 pm

There was an adventure, but I'm not sure where it's ended up - it may get put into S&P or something...
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Postby Stainless » Fri May 21, 2010 7:15 am

It's interesting you've interpreted their typo as being on purpose.

They use "Mount StM ichel" in the section headings (not "Mount St M ichel" as you have written it). Rather than thinking it has meaning, I'd put money on it being a typical Mongoose typo for "Mount St Michel".

Nice review by the way.
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Postby soltakss » Fri May 21, 2010 9:01 am

Stainless wrote:It's interesting you've interpreted their typo as being on purpose.
I must have read too many Da Vinci Code-style books :-)
Stainless wrote:They use "Mount StM ichel" in the section headings (not "Mount St M ichel" as you have written it). Rather than thinking it has meaning, I'd put money on it being a typical Mongoose typo for "Mount St Michel".
Ah, but was my typo deliberate with a hidden meaning?
Stainless wrote:Nice review by the way.
Thanks. I just hope nobody uses it to make a purchase decision (too much pressure).
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Merrie England (Medieval RPG): http://merrieengland.soltakss.com/index.html
http://www.soltakss.com/index.html
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Lord High Munchkin
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Postby Lord High Munchkin » Fri May 21, 2010 9:06 am

soltakss wrote:
Stainless wrote:It's interesting you've interpreted their typo as being on purpose.
I must have read too many Da Vinci Code-style books :-)
Perhaps it's the "secret" greeting/handshake... knowing that there is a hollow in the word mimics the secret chambers that the Order has in the Mount, that mimics it's place within the wider Church...?

As for adventures, there is always 'Ex Cathedra' (due out any time soon...).
The desire for a "definitive, ultimate answer" is, in fact, classified by modern psychiatric medicine as a mental illness.
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Postby Akrasia » Sat May 22, 2010 6:41 am

soltakss wrote: ... It might work with PCs being chased or invesitgated by the Order (i.e. having Order members as NPCs) ...
Anyone else think this would be brilliant? 8)

I don't think that I have much interest in the setting as written (the SAS of the Church), but a setting in which the PCs were sorcerers, heretics, philosophers, alchemists, and/or pagans 'on the run' would rock, IMO.
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Postby TrippyHippy » Sat May 22, 2010 9:24 am

Akrasia wrote:
soltakss wrote: ... It might work with PCs being chased or invesitgated by the Order (i.e. having Order members as NPCs) ...
Anyone else think this would be brilliant? 8)

I don't think that I have much interest in the setting as written (the SAS of the Church), but a setting in which the PCs were sorcerers, heretics, philosophers, alchemists, and/or pagans 'on the run' would rock, IMO.
It would make an interesting sequel game, that's for sure.
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