Let’s jump right in and see what sorts of things you can do in Cosmothea. I’ll hold off on things you can’t do until Part 3 and give my reasons on why I chose not to make the Cosmothea Engine and setting generic, since they already cover so many possibilities.
The following are a few more real world examples of what we’ve done with the system and setting to give you some ideas (Bear in mind that as with other games with settings, you can always use one and ignore the other or vice versa):
A group of adventurers find themselves on the beach of an untamed isle and soon wind up caught between two warring tribes, the Tongallans, who worship the One Above All, and rally around their champion, a great, colossal ape, and another – the Zillarans, who prayed to Zuledragar, the dark Illuminarii, for their own champion. Nearly a year later, a colossal zilla rose out of the deep to help the zillarans crash through the tongallan’s wall as they believed a powerful weapon was hidden deep within tongallan territory, a weapon powerful enough to threaten even a god. The adventurers sided with the Tongallans to protect the sacred realm and its secrets. Unbeknownst to either tribe or the players, the realm was further protected by an android who had set up some nasty traps in case Tonga, the ape champion, failed to stop Zilla’s advance or to stop the adventurers should they suddenly turn greedy. As it turns out, the android had arrived on the island even before the tribes settled there, but what its story was, no one ever found out. It was an exciting adventure and there’s much more story and secrets to tell, but I’ll stop there, as I don’t want to give too much away in case I include the story in an upcoming anthology.
A New Kind of Superhero Headquarters:
A group of superheroes looking for a home base, discover a stargate and pass through, winding up in the Cosmothereal dimension where they are assaulted first by an ancient adamantium dragon, the servants of Thaasgool, a minor god, and then finally the god of misery himself. Defeating them all, they set up shop in a castle on a floating island. Hiring a team of locals to act as a front, they maintain the facade of rich lords, interacting with the primitive population of a nearby floating island, using their servants to diminish the likelihood of being exposed as superheroes so as to avoid unwanted attention.
Eventually, one of their servants spilled the beans, and Thaasgool, reborn after losing face in their previous battle, finds them and destroys part of the castle. Catching the heroes off guard, he sends them packing back through the stargate. The group survives, but having tasted the dual life of modern hero and epic powerhouse on a magical world, they make plans to find a new headquarters in the Cosmothereal dimension.
(I made the logo above for the Monster Union. That’s one union you don’t want to mess with, trust me!)
The Monster League and Monster Union:
The Briq Wave, a world-changing event that altered both magic and creatures and even locations on every world in which it manifested, was a big game changer on the world of Adara. I ran a two year long adventure of the Monster League, an all monster team of epic level adventurers (there were 13 of us in the party- our largest gaming group thus far) in what should by all appearances have been a Milk Run, since we were all very tough and it was just transporting a package from one location to another (but of course nothing is easy).
The Monster League was hired to move the body of Striker, the imprisoned god of Revenge from their headquarters on an island, to an underground bunker protected by a creature even the gods were afraid of; a creature so powerful that it is said that not even a team of gods could confront and expect to walk away with all of their team. The bunker was under a legendary realm called a Battlefield of the Gods.
To back up for a moment, there have been several great battles – Armageddon’s of the gods in Cosmothea, and each time, the land on which they battle is transformed forever, become a crystalline “briq” that is highly charged with magic. Mages make magic items from such stuff and sometimes artifacts are even buried in it. Sometimes even a fallen god’s essence is trapped within the stuff. Arcane engines have been built to use briq as fuel, powering everything from sky boats to huge battleships and constructs.
Such places are always well guarded (hence why they sent an epic level team). Leaving the island on sky ships, the team went with great haste and incredible firepower to the battlefield of the gods. Doom, the God of Destruction, sent his own monster team after the heroes: The Monster Union. It’s a long story, so I’ll just cut to the end: The heroes were assaulted many times, but made it to the chamber of the Beast of the Briq, the great protector of the bunker, and deposited the god, Striker, held awake, but helpless under the Mantle of , however even the gods ended up intervening on this one and there was a great battle which ended with an ancient gnomish high tech bomb (A Doom Ball) being activated, which disrupted the stability of the briq (alright blew up the already volatile material and spewed it into the atmosphere), causing a Briq Wave to roll across the planet, changing life forever.
Some of the original Monster League team died, one ascended to godhood as the champion of the god Kane, and Striker, the god of Revenge was awakened (to everyone’s surprise and horror). Everyone who could teleport, or otherwise get out of the area or off world, did so, man and god alike. Some of my players have been running characters in Cosmothea for nearly three decades, one longer than that (besides myself of course), and they agreed it was one of the most exciting adventures they’ve ever had in any game. But of course every gamer has their story. I merely included these to give an example of the sorts of things you can do in the game and setting.
Next up, Part 3 where we talk about what you can’t do and why. I hope you’ll stick with us through the rest of this series and let me know what you think. Thanks!