Looking for players: Spire

I’m running a game of Spire on February 25th (this Saturday). At the moment there are two players (@svn and @H) and we could use one or two other players.

I’m aiming for a one-shot or a game consisting of 2 sessions. Start would be between 4 and 5 pm.

All PCs are dark elves and members of a cell of freedom fighters against the high elves who have conquered their home 200-300 years ago. The game is light on the rules and focuses on storytelling and has mechanics that allow the players to steer the narrative beyond their characters’ immediate actions.

The setting is industrial fantasy (guns, factories, unions, sorcery and divine interventions are part of everyday life) and the PCs might have to make decisions that negatively impact themselves and the people around them to advance the revolution. After all, the game’s subtitle is “The City Must Fall” for a reason.

I’ll post a short primer on the setting when I get home.

I love the setting of spire and the way it plays, count me in
Fortunately I have time on saturday

Fantastic! I’ll write you a message with the details.

hi there, if it becomes a recurring one, I’d like to join, alas this time I have a clash in availability.

This particular game will most likely end after one or two sessions, but I’m pretty sure I’ll run Spire or it’s spin-off Heart again in the not too distant future.

Spire is a very tall and very old city located towards the centre of the land of Destera; two hundred years ago the aelfir, or high elves, invaded from the north and, with the help of gun-toting human mercenaries, took Spire from the native drow, or dark elves. The masked aelfir now rule Spire from gilded ice-palaces within the upper areas of the city; they live lives of perverse luxury and senseless excess compared to the countless drow who work in their factories, houses and farms. Each drow is required to serve a Durance when they come of age – four years of unpaid labour in the service of an aelfir lord. Working conditions are poor, and injuries and deaths are common. Traditional Desteran culture is under attack from the aelfir. Worship of two of the three main goddesses of old Spire has been forbidden, and cults devoted to them have been destroyed or radicalised and driven underground. The player characters are members of one such cult – The Ministry of Our Hidden Mistress – and call themselves Ministers. They’re paramilitary zealots living secret lives in service to their dark goddess of grace, subterfuge and misdirection. They have sworn to do anything necessary to remove the aelfir from power and return Spire to the drow.

SUBVERT, DON’T DESTROY. Wrest weapons from the hands of your enemies and turn them against them. Recruit cells from other organisations, even ones that work against you, and use them as tools. If you kill someone in authority, someone will replace them and they’ll probably be worse; turn them, instead, through blackmail or threats or bribery, and use them. You can’t rule over ashes; you want the city to be standing when you’re done. (Still: when it comes to it, don’t be afraid to resort to bloodshed, especially when your cover is on the line.)

THIS IS NOT A KIND WORLD. There are soft and gentle parts of it; there are easy lives, but you don’t have one. You were born into an underclass within an underclass. You have struggled for everything you have, and even then someone probably tried to take it away from you. You have been handed such a bad lot in life, in fact, that you have joined a radicalised cell who worship a forbidden goddess and murder people in order to get revenge.

YOU ARE BRAVE. People don’t know what they want or, moreso, what they need. The drow need freedom, and you’re the one to give it to them, even if that means hiding your actions. You are most likely lying to your loved ones, sneaking out while they sleep, and stockpiling illegal weapons under your bed. You are living one wrong step away from death every second of your life.

YOU ARE GOING TO HURT PEOPLE. That’s unavoidable. It’s a crime for you to spill blood, but it’s “justice” when they do it. The city guard are drow, just like you – desperate, and hungry, and tired, but they’re duty-bound to stop you. Who are you going to hurt to get what you want? Who won’t you hurt? What will you do to preserve the secrecy of The Ministry and your mission?

THIS IS GOING TO KILL YOU. One way or another, you are going to die doing this. Maybe you’ve made your peace with it, and maybe you’re lying to yourself and saying that you’re smarter than everyone else, but if you stay active in the Ministry, you’re going to wind up dead or mad or destitute or all three. The best hope you’ve got is offloading the danger onto someone else, earning the promotion to Magister, or retiring. But no-one really retires. So you burn bright, as best you can, and try to make a difference.

THERE’S ALWAYS ANOTHER LEVEL. You can’t win this. Listen: you can take a street back, sure. Maybe even a district. But if you make too much noise, take too much territory, someone much bigger and more dangerous than you will notice, and they’ll turn up and destroy you. So it’s slow work, and you have to subvert rather than destroy, and that leaves you with risky assets all over the map, and when you finally secure a victory, one of two things happens: either it gets taken off you by your enemies or your superiors, or it causes you untold problems, and suddenly you’re the bastards in charge, oppressing people. But that’s how it goes, and better you than them. Right?

YOUR OWN FAMILY WOULD SELL YOU OUT. You know what ministers do? Ministers get people killed. Ministers used to meet in the cellar of the bar down the road, and then the Solar Guard showed up and burned it to the ground with everyone inside. Ministers abduct and kill people for reasons that no-one can fathom. Ministers draw the attention of the city guard, and the aelfir, on the poorest, most downtrodden districts of Spire. Far better, then, to report a cell to the authorities, and gain whatever rewards are offered for doing so – better job prospects, a pocketful of sten, maybe even a nicer flat further up-Spire.

THE MINISTRY WOULD SELL YOU OUT. The Ministry are not your friends. They can’t afford to allow you to mess up, or to let information slip – they’ve invested so much in getting as far as they have today, and their work has barely started. If you get something wrong and it causes problems, the Ministry will quite gladly give you false information and send you into a trap to confuse their enemies.

If there is still room, I’d love to play.

Have played Spire elsewhere - can testify it is a lot of fun!

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