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Performing Troupes: A Foragers Guild Guide
A system-neutral fantasy faction sourcebook.
In the land of Haswyae, where magic intertwines with reality, there existed a renowned troupe known as the Illustrious Eldritch Masquerade. They were more than mere performers; they were conjurers of dreams, enchanting the hearts and minds of all who beheld their extraordinary spectacles. With their mastery of illusion, music, and mystic arts, they transported audiences to realms beyond imagination, weaving tales of wonder and weaving incantations of awe. From the bustling streets of bustling cities to the remote corners of forgotten forests, the troupe's performances became the stuff of legends, and their name whispered with reverence among both common folk and noble houses. And so, their grandest adventure was about to unfold, as they embarked on a journey that would lead them to enchanted lands, mythical creatures, and the very essence of magic itself.
In the vast realms of fantasy roleplaying, a performing troupe is far more than a mere collection of entertainers. They are a vibrant tapestry of artists, each possessing a unique skill set that transcends the boundaries of the mundane world. Comprising talented actors, musicians, acrobats, dancers, and illusionists, these enigmatic troupes captivate audiences with their spellbinding performances. Their shows are not just simple acts, but immersive experiences that transport spectators into realms both familiar and fantastical. With the flick of a wrist, a whisper of an incantation, or a melody that resonates deep within the soul, these performers breathe life into stories of epic quests, mythical creatures, and legendary heroes. Their stage becomes a portal, bridging the gap between imagination and reality, where the audience becomes part of the narrative, swept away on a tide of wonder and magic. Each member of the troupe brings their own unique talents to the table, synergizing their skills to create a symphony of sights and sounds that leave spectators awestruck and enthralled. Behind the shimmering curtains, these troupes are a tight-knit family, bound not only by their love for the arts but also by a shared purpose—to ignite the fires of imagination, kindle the spark of hope, and leave a lasting imprint on the hearts of those who witness their extraordinary performances.
This Book Includes:
Performing Troupes: Details on creating a troupe, its scope and resources, and the support it might provide to player characters, as well as possible goals and obstacles members of the troupe might face.
Worldbuilding: The setting elements required to support the existence of a troupes, including different genres, types of fantasy worlds, history, and more.
Player Characters: Creating interesting troupe member characters that are detailed and fun to play, with descriptions, personalities, cultural backgrounds, and more.
Antagonists: Developing both troupe antagonists and antagonists for troupe member player characters, with a range of compelling motivations and intriguing backstories.
Supporting Roles: A range of troupe member supporting characters in different roles, and the types of supporting cast that might be around troupe member player characters.
Adventures: Ideas for different types of adventures centered around the troupe, including goals, stakes, and obstacles.
System-neutral sourcebooks provide information and content usable with any fantasy roleplaying mechanics. The material is presented in a way that allows it to be easily adapted and used with a variety of different systems or rulesets. These books are designed for guides, players, and creators seeking ideas and inspiration without being limited to one particular system.
Why a Toolkit?
Roleplaying is a creative and collaborative activity. A large portion of the joy it brings is from making up the things that add to the experience. The reason Performing Troupes is a toolkit and not a highly developed setting with tons of worldbuilding details is so there’s room left for your imagination. While it can be cool to read setting guides that cover everything down to the last detail, in play it can box you in and make you feel that your own ideas don’t fit or aren’t valid. The goal here is to give you as much as you need to get started, then step aside and let you turn this into whatever you and the other players want it to be.
Here is a list of potential content warnings that might come up while using a troupe in a fantasy roleplaying scenario:
Addiction and Substance Abuse: The setting may explore the dark side of performing arts, including the temptation of addictive substances or the use of mind-altering potions to enhance their performances.
Betrayal and Double-Crossing: The narratives may feature instances of betrayal, where performers deceive allies, form alliances with enemies, or exploit trust for personal gain, leading to complex and morally ambiguous situations.
Emotional Manipulation: Performers may employ their talents to evoke intense emotions in characters and audiences, sometimes bordering on manipulation or exploiting vulnerabilities.
Loss of Identity: The pursuit of fame or power can lead performers to compromise their true selves, delving into themes of identity, self-discovery, and the sacrifices made in the name of art.
Moral Ambiguity: The setting explores shades of grey in morality, blurring the line between right and wrong, and challenging characters to make difficult choices where the consequences may be morally ambiguous.
Political Intrigue: The narratives may involve complex political schemes, espionage, and manipulation of power dynamics, as performers navigate treacherous political landscapes to achieve goals.
Prejudice and Discrimination: The setting may address themes of discrimination against performers due to their unconventional lifestyles, challenging social norms, and facing prejudice from others.
Tragic Romances: Performers may find themselves entangled in doomed love affairs, where relationships are marred by tragedy, heartbreak, or unrequited feelings, exploring the melancholic side of their romantic pursuits.
Violence: Although primarily known for their talents, performers can be skilled combatants, engaging in physical altercations using a variety of weapons, potentially resulting in graphic violence.
It's important to consider the comfort level and boundaries of all players when planning a roleplaying series, and to provide content warnings for any potentially disturbing material.
Foragers Guild Guides are designed for roleplayers that enjoy building their worlds, designing their own adventures, and developing their own ongoing characters. Why tell other peoples’ stories when half the fun is making up your own? Create with intention.
Lightspress Media is a tabletop roleplaying company with a lo-fi approach. Utility of content takes precedence over ostentatious production value. Graphic elements should enhance the message of the text, not act as page filler and eye candy. Physical books need to be compact, portable, and sturdy. This minimalist aesthetic results in powerful toolkits that are both useful and affordable. After all, tabletop roleplaying isn’t the book. It’s the creativity and collaboration that takes place around the tabletop. Our mission is to give you as much as you need, then get out of your way.
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