Friday, March 22, 2013

Kickstart the Magic of MAJUS

Readers with long memories will recall that back in April, Goblinoid Games and myself announced I’d penned a new game for them using the Action Table System. The Kickstarter for that game is now live.

So, before you decide to plunk down your hard-earned scratch, you might justifiably ask, “What is MAJUS?” I’m here to help.

MAJUS is an urban fantasy/film noir RPG that casts the players in the roles of sorcerers descended from the Sumerian priest-kings of antiquity. From the dawn of time, these magicians, known as Maji, have been embroiled in a struggle called the Mehen. The goal of this millennia-long conflict is to control the mysterious Skein and thereby dominate the sorcerous underworld. Standing in the way of the players’ victory are numerous cabals of rival Maji, strange cultists, and supernatural entities that might not be quite what folklore makes them out to be. Expect pitched gun battles amidst ancient Mayan ruins, seedy dealings with South African freighter captains down at the docks, double-crosses by trusted friends, and, of course, Nazis.

One of the strengths of MAJUS is that there is no concrete setting or metaplot, and the CM (Cabal Master) is encouraged to utilize the various elements of the game to create a campaign that best suits his or her and the players’ expectations and desires. With a copy of MAJUS in hand, any and all of the following is possible:

* Battle the evil of the Abraxas, a cabal of demonphages endeavoring to consume the power of the Skein to enhance their own brand of fell magic.

* Seek out ancient, forgotten sites of power known as “labyrinths” and defeat the “minotaurs” that guard them.

* Become embroiled in the schemes of the Projecteers, who plot deep in the halls of government, augmented by black budget funding.

* Search for immortality with the Circle of Saturn—or stop them from achieving their eternal aims.

* Ride with the Witchfinders, an outlaw motorcycle club determined to retain their neutrality in the Mehen.

* Double-cross the Sodality of Thoth Eternal to steal John Dee’s Other Mirror.

* Curse your enemies with a well-placed shot from the Hex Rifle.

* Avoid getting lost in the Slumber and the House of Infinite Rooms.

From two-fisted Saturday afternoon serials a la Indiana Jones to Lovecraftian horror, MAJUS fits a number of play styles. The Skein, the central goal of the Mehen, can be custom tailored to each CM’s desire and a number of different options are provided to help inspire campaign creation. Even the origins of the Maji and the Veiled Masters who might be pulling their strings, are left open to interpretation, giving the game master a wide variety of choices when constructing adventures. You’ll find no metaplot in MAJUS!

MAJUS owes a debt of gratitude to a number of literary, film, and musical sources. If you’re a fan of Hellblazer, Cast a Deadly Spell, Clive Barker, Millennium, Harry Dresden, Carnacki the Ghost Finder, The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep, Blue Oyster Cult and other eclectic entertainments, you’ll find some familiar territory in the game.

MAJUS was a hell of a trip to write and I hope you have at least half as much fun playing the game as I did writing it. I took a long, scenic drive through Bat Country when researching the game and I think that mental journey pays off in the originality of MAJUS. I’m very excited to see this game come to fruition. It’s complete and ready to roll, and just needs the Kickstarter for layout and to pay for the awesome artwork of Mark Allen, who I believe is tackling the project from cover to cover.

If you’re a fan of my work, the Action Table System Games (TIMEMASTER, ROTWORLD, and others), and/or Goblinoid Games’ excellent products, please consider kicking some bucks into the can and make MAJUS happen!


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Herb Nowell said...

I'm already in on the Kickstarter, but I love the inspiration list.

I especially like singe Blue Oyster Cult. I have always wanted to run a campaign whose setting and setups is based on the titles of the song on Fire of Unknown Origin. The most work I ever did was a Fading Suns inspired one where the Symbiots was the fire and the wars were the recently ended war against them the Psychic Wars. Never figured out how to use Joan Crawford though.

In a Majus game, however, she'd fit right in.

To the CD collection.