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Chapter 6 Sidebars

Adventure Seeds

Magellan's Err The famous Majestati sage, Magellan, has not been seen in years. Suddenly, the PCs receive a note from him saying that he has discovered something of tremendous importance deep in Mexico. He begs the PCs to fly to the tiny Mexican town and assist him in uncovering a great secret. He writes that they will know him when they see him. When the PCs arrive in Mexico, they are greeted by a squat Mexican man who introduces himself as Magellan. He is very happy that the PCs have come and quickly shows them around the five-building village. He shows them a small stone hovel that they can stay in, and promptly leaves, promising them great adventure in the days to come. This man, however, is not really Magellan. He was Magellan's guide who was with him when he discovered a magical, Mayan labyrinth. After Magellan wrote the PCs, this man knocked him out, kept him captive in the labyrinth, and pretended to be him in the hopes of using the PCs. So, each day, Magellan takes the PCs on his own adventures. He uses them for money, gambling buddies, bodyguards, everything, always promising that he'll show them the secret soon enough. It may take the PCs some time to figure out what's going on.

Voltaire's Tale While trying to convince somebody that they are a Majestati, the PCs stumble across a nest of vampires, who have captured a ssazanthi woman. She explains that the vampires are looking for Voltaire, who has been a vampire for centuries and lives someplace in America. The ssazanthi tells the PCs that Voltaire knows the location of an ancient elven shrine, which used to hold secret magical equipment and tomes. She has pinpointed Voltaire to a small plantation house in the tiny town of Picket, Mississippi. Unknown to the PCs, they have been spotted by several ulti, who are determined to follow the PCs and destroy the elven shrine and the PCs. Voltaire is thoroughly insane, speaks only in rhymes, and forces the characters to do so as well. Eventually, he says that the shrine is located in Italy, but has become the home of a powerful and reclusive Medean mage. The PCs must now avoid the ulti (and any vampires they might have angered) and find the shrine.

Salieri's Tale Long-lost sheet music of the elves has turned up in the Cloisters, a medieval museum in New York City. Written by a kayanari known as Mesarte, the sheet music is incredibly difficult to play, and no one, human or elf, has managed to play it correctly. What's more, an enchanted harpsichord, one that Mozart himself used, has been found as well. The elves suspect that if someone a great kayanari musician plays the magical sheet music on the enchanted instrument, it will generate a tremendous amount of mana. Shortly after the discovery of these items, the PCs find a young European musician on tour in American that is really a kayanari Innamorato. Not only is Kyle Corinne famed in the Old World for being able to play incredibly difficult pieces of music, but it is discovered that he possesses the Nexus of Mesarte, the author of the sheet music! Kyle Corinne is easily illuminated to his heritage; the bigger problem is that a group of volsunga have been tracking the Innamorato for some time because he is being stalked by a jotun. Why the jotun hasn't already taken over Kyle's body is a mystery, but the volsunga are anxiously waiting for the jotun to do so, so they can kill Kyle and have a chance at getting the jotun too. The PCs must negotiate with the volsunga, deal with the jotun, and get Kyle the music and the instrument to see if he can really create magic from music.

The Semi-Live Game

It has become increasingly popular among roleplayers to adapt their favorite settings into live-action roleplaying games (LARPS). GURPS Requiem is a good setting for live games, because it takes place in today's world, and the characters are usually human, and even when they're not, they can easily blend in. Full live games require their own rules. Usually there is little or no dice rolling, less "number-heavy" character sheets, and other house-rules that simplify and adapt the game to a real-life setting. Live games do not concentrate on combat, but roleplaying. Players act out their characters like actors on stage. Live games are often played in populated locations, such as parks, concerts, malls, or game conventions. Players and GMs who wish to adapt Requiem to a live-action game are more than welcome to do so. A semi-live action game is a compromise between tabletop roleplaying and live roleplaying. Most of the game is played on the table, like normal; a few critical scenes, however, are acted out live. Many times, this is as simple as moving the players to a different room. A living room could become a dwarven throneroom, where the GM can plop himself down on a lazy-boy and demand that the players kneel before him. No dice rolling is done, unless a situation really calls for it. The players instantly become their characters, and the GM becomes the NPCs. For large scenes, the GM can have friends play additional NPCs. He can use simple props and lighting effects to add to the scene. A living room with dimmed lights becomes much more believable as a dwarven kingdom. Gels (colored cellophane-like pieces of plastic designed to put over lights; gels are heat resistant so they don't melt. They can be bought fairly cheaply) on top of lights help amazingly. A blue gel bathes the room in blue light, making it look like an aquari underwater kingdom. Red gels give a fire-effect, and gel combinations can make any room really come to life. Props should be kept simple; a dowel makes a good ancient sword. Some players enjoy making costumes for themselves. Even a simple cloak, made out of a piece of cool cloth, goes a long way. Players should remember that their characters live in the modern world, and won't leave the house unless their clothing looked cool. No Incuban worth his Nexus would go out in public with a cheesy vampire cape on. Some GMs prefer to take the players outside, or to another location for the live-action scene. Creativity is encouraged, but players should remember that a live-action game is about roleplaying, not scaring the ordinary people in the world.

Campaign Crossovers

Nonhuman races can be inserted into any non-fantasy world with interesting effect. Imagine elven autoduellists competing in the arena against the ulti, or an infamous djinn motorcycle gang. The Majestati may very well appear in CthulhuPunk, either serving, or fighting Lovecraft's horrors with gyrocs and laser weapons. Likewise, they could also appear in the wild west as gunslinging heroes, or their lost cities might even be discovered in a Cliffhangers adventure.

GURPS Cyberpunk
GURPS Cyberpunk makes Requiem a darker environment, where the marvels of ancient magic is in direct opposition to the marvels of new technology. The government may very well be aware of the existence of the Incubans and the Majestati, but would keep their existence a secret. Ambitious korps would try to harness the power of magic and use it for their own purposes. Perhaps the Incubans themselves take over the world's biggest corporations, controlling the world directly through marketing and production.
GURPS Fantasy
GURPS Requiem is, in its own way, a fantasy genre. Still, the events of the Debacle could easily be placed in the world of Yrth, or any other fantasy world. On Yrth, the Debacle is a second Banestorm of sorts, where all the powerful mages in the world attempted to steal all of the mana. Only a hundred years or so pass before the Incubans wake up, so the world of Yrth is still more-or-less a medieval society, sans fantastic elements. The Incubans cast the Requiem to bring back the nonhumans, but the humans of Yrth might not be ready to accept them back into society. The humans of Yrth will blame the Debacle on the mages, and therefore on the nonhumans, so it's not likely they'll welcome the Majestati back with open arms.
GURPS Supers
GURPS Requiem could easily work in a super-powered universe. The world would probably be more aware of the nonhumans, and much more apt to accept them into the world. Elves, dwarves, djinn, and valkyrja could prove to be valuable allies to any supers, and the Incubans could make both dangerous enemies or friends. Majestati could just as easily have the Seeder gene in them as any human, so a few nonhumans would have super abilities along with their natural racial Talents.
GURPS Voodoo
GURPS Requiem can easily co-exist with the dark world of GURPS Voodoo. The Corruptors could be manifestations from the Requiem, side effects that the Incubans did not plan, and now ignore. The Initiates and the Lodges could replace the Adepts, the two groups created and maintained by the various Incubans. Majestati and Initiate could work side-by-side to stop the growing evil that seeps into the land.
GURPS World of Darkness
This would include GURPS Vampire: The Masquerade, GURPS Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and GURPS Mage: The Ascension. The Majestati could find a home in the World of Darkness with little modifications. The biggest change would be to the mood of the game. No longer would Requiem be about accomplishing heroic feats worthy of the past, but instead it would focus on the personal struggles individual Majestati face as they come to accept their heritage and use their magic. The Incubans become a force of chaos, perhaps even a force of the Wyrm. Mages in the World of Darkness are slightly harder to incorporate, as Mage assumes that magic lies solely within Awakened individuals. This problem could be solved, if it was the Incubans who Awakened these mages and formed the various Traditions.

GURPS Horror
It's very easy to combine aspects of horror with Requiem. After all, the Incubans are incredibly powerful, many of which have some severe mental problems. When portrayed as "insane gods," the Incubans become a horrible force in the world, right along the lines of Lovecraft's creations. In a Horror campaign, the Incubans are different from Lovecraft's gods, who didn't care about humanity. Instead, they want to destroy it. The Incubans have the power to create anything they wish. The foulest beasts from legend can be created instantly. Small races of evil beings can be brought back to the earth with alarming frequency. And cursed items can be found buried under the earth, or sitting on a dusty shelf in a museum. The PCs, as the Majestati might oppose these Incubans. Others, knowing that the Incubans are their sires, may decide that it's far better to worship these insane mages and hope that they are kept alive. Humanity might not know about these seven demons -- only a handful would see that inexplicable events are happening across the earth.
In Nomine
This fascinating crossover puts the Majestati in the middle of the biggest battle of all time. In this crossover, the Incubans weren't just humans, but diabolical demons. Not liking the idea that magic helped humanity so much, the Incubans destroyed magic with the Debacle. Hundreds of years later, the Seraphim decide that humanity needs some of that magic back to defend itself. After long debates in the Seraphim Council, the angels, with some truly Divine help, bring back the four dominant races. In the In Nomine game system, Majestati are best created as Soldiers.

Music for Requiem

Music adds a lot of mood to all roleplaying games, and GURPS Requiem is no exception. Depending on the mood of the game, players could prefer instrumental music over music with lyrics. Good instrumental soundtracks include Braveheart, The Crow (both the score and the soundtrack), The Hunt for Red October, Rob Roy, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (volumes I-IV), and Batman Returns. For gamers who enjoy a more somber, darker game, Interview with the Vampire and Alien 3 work extremely well. Mozart's Last Requiem (K.626), of course, makes excellent classical background music, as does music from Beethoven, Brahms, and Bach. Gregorian chants can also supply a mysterious atmosphere. For gamers who prefer a harder, metal sound for Requiem, good selections include: The Cure, Depeche Mode, Morbid Angel, Pantera, Nine Inch Nails, Stone Temple Pilots, some Queen albums, Several Prince songs are also good, including `7' for the Majestati who hate the Incubans. The Gone Jackals make a good dwarf band.