Archive for the 'Coheed and Cambria' Category

Come Home, Believer

2007 Sep 25

Ah, I finally have a title for the Coheed & Cambria game… Come Home, Believer: House Atlantic, Its Rise and Fall, A Pageant of Blood & Beauty in IV Acts.

The Flower Revenge

2007 Sep 25

After I run Cold City for a cool group of folks, I told Dev and Eben that I’d run a game for them based on the music of Coheed & Cambria.

It’s not hard to explain why I find Claudio Sanchez’s band so enthralling. All of the band’s music is part of a massive four-part apocalyptic space fantasy rock opera involving robots, a fascist mage-run empire, angels ripping off their wings to become human, a messianic force called The Crowing, inheritable viruses that can destroy the universe, an untrustworthy and interfering narrator called the Writing Writer, the demoniacally possessed bicycle of the Writer known as Tenspeed Of God’s Blood and Burial, and other heaping loads of utter ridiculousness.

Coheed & Cambria’s music is clearly the kind of shit you dreamed of writing in high school. It’s solipsistic and self-absorbed (the main character’s name is Claudio), it’s all about problems with girls, its wrapped in totally bizarre imagery pulled from every bit of genre fiction that you loved in your childhood, and it’s epic and unrealistic on a ridiculous level.

Part of the reason I identify with it so much is I have a somewhat similar project sitting on the hard drive of my old computer, dating back to 1998 when I was a sophomore in high school. I dug it out to show off and be embarrassed by. It’s called The Flower Revenge and was sometimes subtitled “A Rock Opera Apocalypse.”

The premise of the thing is that there’s a girl named Adri who is the embodiment of revenge, known as Payback. Adri delivers suffering like Santa Claus. People send her letters like “Bitch must pay for what he did” and she goes on delivery trips where she inflicts revenge. Adri inherited this role from dozens of people who’ve had the role of Payback before, but they all eventually retired because they couldn’t deal with dispensing so much terrible stuff on generally undeserving people.

People who retire from being Payback simply become demons and continue to serve in the retinue of the new Payback, though they no longer have the responsibility and angst that comes with the role. The previous incarnation of payback was Sandras, who is now the chief demon serving Adri. Now, the current Payback cannot retire from their role until they find someone to replace them and convince them to accept the responsibilities.

The Flower Revenge, then, begins with Adri encountering the protagonist, a boy named Azrael. Azrael falls for Adri and eventually becomes convinced to take on the role of Payback, mostly because he cares so much for her and wants to martyr himself to release her from her torturous responsibilities. The first act ends with Azrael’s first run as Payback and his embracing of his new role.

In the second act, the world’s demand for revenge becomes so overwhelming that Payback can’t deliver all of it on his own. In these circumstances, Payback is supposed to break one of the Seven Seals (from the Book of Revelation) which releases some of the tension by giving Payback supernatural assistants who help deliver suffering on a grand level. So Azrael breaks the first seal, summoning the First Horseman of the Apocalypse, The Conqueror.

Soon afterwards, Adri recieves a letter from Satan summoning her presence in Hell (Satan is nominally in charge of Payback and her retinue, since they’re demons). Without Adri around, Azrael suffers a breakdown and four of the remaining Seals are broken, summoning the rest of the Four Horseman (The Fool, Justice, and Death) and The Martyrs. Sandras agrees to take on the role of Payback temporarily, hoping to “stall the apocalypse” (which happens when all Seven Seals break) while Azrael travels to hell to find Adri.

I never wrote the lyrics to Act III, unfortunately, so I’m not sure exactly what happens. The world ends, of course, and Azrael and Adri are united in a giant fucked up martyr romance finale. And I know I planned a fun trio by Brutas, Judas, and Dante (Dante having replaced Cassius) while they’re being chewed on in Satan’s three mouths, as described in the Inferno. I had all the tracks written in my head up through the first couple tracks of Act III, but I never really notated them (I still can’t really read music that well) or recorded them, so I mainly have a giant Word file with all the lyrics.

Anyway, yeah, here’s the track list. Thought I’d share :)

The Flower Revenge

Act I

[through the years]
[azrael’s anthem]
[girl meets boy]
[cup o’ sugar]
[spider and the fly]
[bats in the belfry]
[adri’s anthem]
[goblins & dynamite]
[hall of those before]
[what can I say]
[run 101]
[a new anthem]

Act II

[hold your horses]
[one] the conqueror
[speak of the devil]
[einstein’s dreams]
[all fool’s day]
[two] the fool
[three] justice
[four] death
[sandras’ cry]
[five] the martyrs
[stall the apocalypse]
[orpheus again]
[going to hell]


[styx & stones]
[too late for love]
[mr. mephisto]
[backstabbers’ jubilee]
[a deal]
[fuck immortality]
[six] betrayal
[packing up]
[don’t look back]
[last request]
[seven] the end
[after the end]

The Keys of the Keywork

2007 Sep 20

Hey, look, it’s TSOY Coheed & Cambria!

  • Key of the Monstar: 1 XP, work to destroy the Sinstar Virus. 3 XP, kill someone with the Sinstar Virus. Buyoff, be injected with the serum, destroy the Keywork.
  • Key of the Sinstar: 1 XP, protect yourself from those that want to save the Keywork. 3 XP, fully aware that you will eventually destroy everything, refuse to sacrifice yourself. Buyoff, when you come of age, destroy the Keywork.
  • Key of the Crowing: 1 XP, resist your role as messiah. 3 XP, steadfastly refuse to do your duty, in the face of everyone who may perish. Buyoff, save the world.
  • Key of the Prise: 1 XP, aid the heroes without getting personally involved. 3 XP, refuse to become personally involved at great cost to your own goals. Buyoff, remove your wings and become human.
  • Key of the Inferno: 1 XP, mentor the heroes in their destiny. 3 XP, reveal dark secrets from your own past that make your goals seem questionable. Buyoff, die so that the hero can embrace their destiny.
  • Key of the Writer: 1 XP, agonize and overthink a particular direction in the story. 3 XP, pause the action while you discuss the narrative with yourself, showing that you are batshit crazy. Buyoff, enter the story yourself.

Hack Attack is Back

2007 Aug 28

So yesterday I started chatting with Elizabeth (dissolvegirl) about my Exalted hack and also posted about how I could use The Keywork to make a game about Coheed & Cambria’s space-fantasy emo rock operas. Somewhere in the middle there, while I was thinking about both Exalted and the burning of Star IV, I experienced revelation.

As I told Elizabeth, I’m thinking now that each of an Exalted’s First Age crimes is both a chakra and a charm tree. So, as you process your misdeeds of the past, you unlock the dark powers that enabled you to perform them, but then you have to navigate the chakra to refine your powers and absolve yourself of the crimes, so that you will not simply repeat them in the present Age of Sorrows. So an Exalt is basically an assortment of chakra that intertwine amongst themselves like divine clockwork, the handiwork of the gods that created them, and a Circle of Exalts is likewise a larger essence machine, a reflection of the proper ordering of the world, though that machine is, of course, corrupted by numerous imperfections.

All that sounds great, of course, but now I have to figure out how to make that work, which probably means creating a chakra for each charm tree (each ability, basically) or at least creating rules on how to make them and giving a bunch of examples. The great thing, though, is if we tie crimes more directly to charm trees, you’ll be able to figure out an Exalted’s past crimes by looking at the charms they developed through the process of committing them, or vice versa (picking your characters charms based on their crimes, Poison’d-style).

Additionally, I think the way that a Circle is tied together is through shared crimes. If two characters have the same charm tree, then they literally share that chakra in play. Both their tokens are placed on the same map/dial and they are forced to resolve it together. So, when you look at the table that a game of the hack is placed on, you see a bunch of interconnected chains of chakra, perhaps all connected into the ultimate destiny of the Loom of Fate, the World-Encompassing Spider Pattern.

The Keywork

2007 Aug 27

So I was just thinking that this would make a really sweet chakra, assuming I was interested in writing a game about a space-fantasy emo rock opera tetralogy (and its associated comic book series). And, um, why wouldn’t I be interested?