There is a place where children go to become heroes, only discovered by a desperate few when they need it most. Here, they escape from their normal lives, slay giants, solve riddles, learn magic, and become kings and queens. Children grow up and the fantasies of childhood are forgotten.
But now the realm you once protected is under attack. You must leave behind your life, your family, and your ordinary job to defend your past from something terrible and very, very real.
Milestones and Advancement
PCs in Nest earn milestones by taking risks and facing foes. You can earn a milestone up to once per session, triggered by events in play. You can gain the benefits of the milestone immediately, or choose your benefit before the next session.
- YOU CAN GAIN A MINOR MILESTONE UPON...
- ...taking physical stress or a mild consequence.
- ...succeeding with style on a difficult roll (whose difficulty is higher than the skill rank used).
- ...succeeding at a major cost on any roll.
- YOU CAN GAIN A SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE, IF YOU HAVE ALREADY GAINED A MINOR MILESTONE, UPON...
- ...taking out an opponent.
- ...suffering a moderate consequence or higher.
- YOU CAN GAIN A MAJOR MILESTONE, IF YOU HAVE ALREADY GAINED A SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE, UPON...
- ...conceding a high-stakes conflict (GM’s call).
- ...being taken out in a high-stakes conflict (GM’s call).
- ...defeating a major enemy, such as a Vulturine. In this case, the entire group is eligible for a major milestone.
Upon reaching a minor milestone, you can add a stunt; replace one stunt with another; swap two skills that are adjacent on the skill pyramid; or rewrite one of your two free aspects. If you are comfortable with handling a milestone during a session, you can refresh your pool of fate points. You also can begin to recover a moderate consequence.
Minor milestones represent the gradual recovery of a heroic identity.
Upon achieving a significant milestone, you can rewrite either your hook or mundane life aspect, or you can swap any two skills in your pyramid, no matter what the ranks. You can also begin to recover a severe consequence. You do not gain new skill ranks.
Significant milestones represent sudden transformations from the mundane to the heroic.
Upon achieving a major milestone, you gain a point of refresh. You can also rename your heroic concept. You can also begin to recover from an extreme consequence.
Major milestones represent near-total redefinitions of one’s identity as a hero.
Session 0 - Chararacter Generation & Arrival
📚🧒🏾 Tyrone: As I climbed up the lattice outside of my bedroom window, I heard a snap as some of the old wood gave way. I caught myself quickly, preventing a fall but the noise was loud. I was sure that Quianna would be coming to the back window any moment now, disappointed to find me clinging to the building instead of up in my room, reading university brochures.
After waiting long enough for a big ball of stinging sweat to plop into my eye, I feel safe from my sister and continue my climb. As I slide into my bedroom, I toss my bag atop the laundry corner and pull a tube out of my pocket. Lathering my arms relieves the itch from poison oak. Being able to recognize the plant only matters if you pay attention instead of worrying about your future as you aimlessly wander in the woods.
"I want to take a year off, before going to college." is what I want to say to my sister. She works so hard to provide for me since our parents died—I just want to make sure that I'm choosing a good direction. I'm uncertain what to do with "the rest of my life". Picking up the cornucopia of brochures, I throw away all the ones from schools that haven't offered me a "free ride" and jam the rest of the pile into my backpack. "I promise to read them tomorrow", I say to no one.
Exhausted, I throw myself down on my bed only to land on hard stone and I cough from the unexpected impact. Blinking the dust out of my eyes, the sun is out—but it was after dark when I got home—and there are other people here, too. I crouch defensively until I realize that everyone else is confused too. The standing Zebra person in the bath robe talks about how we're all his dream and I start to wonder if I hit my head on something in my room and this is a crazy concussion dream. Wait, sleeping through a concussion is bad, isn't it?
I do a fat pull on my vape and blow some sweet cotton as a hand reaches through that cloud and yanks it right out of my hands! "What did I tell you about vaping?" shrills the voice of my sister, whose anger with me seems to have cut through everyone's confusion and all eyes are on us. Before I can respond, shit gets crazy.
👿Mike: Get a job, my Mom said. Get a job? I HAVE a job. I'm working on my treatise, I'm exploring my will-to-power and how I can influence the world by altering my perceptions of it. This is real work! I'm finding the intersection of LaVey and Nietzsche and forging them in with Derrida and the primal chaos which defines the world! Nothing is True and I Permit What I Want!
The barista is giving me that look again. I bought a coffee three hours ago, so I don't see what her problem is.
I've been thinking a lot about the dreams I had as a kid. They were, well, they were SUCH kids stuff. Rocket ships and wrenches and giant engines the size of a house. The real world is more nuanced and more real than that, y'know. I don't know why that's been on my brain so much.
Hours later, the world is on fire. Those dreams are back, and are they in force. But it's so silly! Who can take any of this seriously?
Session 1 - Vampire at the Front Desk (Epoch)
The Town of Borderfall
📚🧒🏾 Tyrone: The longer that we're here, the more we're starting to remember things about Nest, like the name of the town up ahead is Borderfall. Usually, the gate is open—I always thought that it was decorative—but it is closed and there are a couple of guards. We all look at each other, expecting someone else to take charge and talk to the guards. Finally, my sister sighs and moves forward.
We're allowed inside and we take a homeless person in with our group under strict stipulation that we are in NO WAY to do anything heroic. At all. Which is super weird.
We find a shop that serves drinks and I remind my sister that "drinking age" is a fluid concept that changes based on where you are, for instance, the drinking age is much lower in Europe. She has none of it. And the argument turns out to be a moot point as the bartender informs us that they only serve milk—cow, goat, pig, oat, soy, almond, etc.
As we're enjoying our milk the homeless person introduces himself to us as Old Sagger Mems, teller of tales, the great storyteller, and he recognizes us as heroes.
👿Mike: At the boundary of Epoch, they tell us, "no heroics". I can pretty much guarantee that's not going to happen, because what even is a hero? What is heroic? Stopping the "enemy"? Who's the real enemy anyway?
So we go to the Ivory Harp for sandwiches and milk, and the beggar that helped us past the guards (and warned of the rules about heroics), is Sagger Mems, a storyteller. It's a lot of the usual pablum- the world is in danger, we are the last heroes to come through, yada yada yada. The barkeep's father is in prison in "the Station" whatever that is.
Saving Old Oren
📚🧒🏾 Tyrone: While enjoying my pie, I bite down on a piece of bark—gross!—which has a message written on it, "My father, Old Oren, is a prisoner in the Station". Quianna starts to make a fuss about me nearly choking but we calm her down.
Everyone seems to be on the fence about helping, which irritates me. I stand up and remind them that if this is a dream, why not be the heroes? And if this is real, it is even MORE important for us to do the right thing.
👿Mike: Look, I say, we're not going to go charging into the station and rescue anybody, but boy if I'm not curious about what's up. We should at least walk by- and we're not five feet out of the Ivory Harp when a "crow" attacks- one of the dark monsters. It had a kid prisoner. One of the NEW heroes.
Well, we take the sprog along, I guess, and find the station surrounded by monsters, and the monsters are in charge. And they all have baskets, like the one we found the crotch-fruit in.
We slip into the Station, and find the hotel is now a prison. There's some vampire shenanigans, there's some fights with the crows, and then we're left with a choice. An important one.
There's a train, built by that lion from Bungledyne. It's loaded with kids, and they're getting carted off somewhere. Old Orrin, the barkeeps dad, knows the tales of the talismans, and could help us find a weapon, a weapon that could undo this. (Wait, am I excited about undoing this?) And we've only got time to do one.
We go for Orrin, and it's the right choice. Because right here, in the Station, is my slide rule! My slide rule! I had forgotten about it, and finding it has brought me home.
We ARE going to undo this, aren't we? We're going to turn Nest back into the worlds its supposed to be.
- Station is as we remember it, but more dull
- There is a 7-story railway station
- As we are arguing why we’re doing this, a whistle blows
- There is a dark man like the ones who started the fire. This has the crows mask like a plague.
- Ty climbs to the rooftops while the crow attacks with a polearm and Qui yells at him.
- BM kills the crow with bottle rockets
- The crow was carrying a bag that has a 5yo kid
- The child wakes up with a scream, the face is traumatized
- Ty calms it down and the kid gets attached.
- Jayden is the 5yo
- At the station there are “crows” giving the guards orders.
- Billy created a distraction while Ty helped everyone climb and Mike lockpicked the window open. 3rd floor.
- The room is a victorian style hotel room and fancy. There is a child laying on the bed in a complete catatonia.
- There is an old note that says “The Ogre Red? Heroic?”
- We decide that Billy should wear the plague mask and crow outfit that we have as we explore the building.
- We go down to the lobby, where there are a lot of crows and guards and a human who is managing “the book of guests”. It is on a lazy susan and an ink quill.
- Billy goes through the book. Most people are in for suspected heroism or aiding heroism. Hotel, Basement, or Gone.
- Old Oren is in the basement, we have the cell number
- As Billy goes to leave, the counter monitor woman’s eyes glow red and she reveals that she is as vampire.
- Billy tells us that going to the lobby is the easiest way there (a lie, since he was charmed by the vamp)
- We fight three crows. Hooked Helmed Collectors and Robbers and Empty Suits of Armor
- Billy takes them all out!👏👏👏
- One fades away
- Another falls and turns into a mouse
- The third screams loudly and melts away
- Stuff — baskets are empty
- Basement - tiny bench and a grill. Cluster of tubes and lenses below the grill. A locked heavy iron door under the lens and stuff.
- “Security camera”
- Billy talks us in, with Ty and Mike as prisoners
- We have to choose between a room “Barracks” and another “S/R” (Shipping and Receiving)
- S/R has a train that is being loaded with baskets and trunks with what we assume are people.
- Billy makes a distraction
- Mike tries to sabotage the train
- Ty is going to check out a large brass trapdoor
- Ty finds an elevator and Old Oren but then needs to find keys.
- We rescue Old Oren tells us the location of a talisman.
- Talisman of … Sliderule
Session 2 - Reach for the Stars (Bungledyne)
👿Mike: With the Slide Rule in hand, hoo boy do things start rolling back to me. Bungledyne, it's just bursting with energy… well, normally. It still kinda is, there's still stuff going on. But everyone looks like they're about to panic, and there are more crows everywhere.
It makes sense to head for Luftwunder's lab, but he's not around. He's "on a project". It's a secret, and the scuttlebutt we get from his maid is that he's lost his confidence.
Okay, no Luftwunder, the Spire makes the most sense, right? It's easy to spot, and normally there's an explosion of cables running away from it, but not today. There's just ONE GIANT BUNDLE, huge, headed off towards Eg. This is where we start encountering the Clowns. Clowns in Masks. In masks of our faces.
Clowns and two murders of crows chase us away from the Spire, and we find a hidden little house. There we meet Gil, a "sparkrunner". He carries a battery, steals electricity from the grid, and brings it where it needs to be, and he's going to fix the Spire and return power to the grid. We plot a little revolution, which just sounds great: democratize the technology, man, amirite? Electricity for the masses! Gil heads off to the Spire, and we head off to find Luftwunder at the museum.
Luftwunder is a shit. He's working for "The Master of Eg", and has nothing to offer but some intel: the Master wants to restore the kingdom of Fearsome, the lost kingdom of Nest. And he's going to destroy the rest of Nest to do it. That's not cool.
So, we set up with Gil to release the power from the Spire, so the Spire is where we head back to. Having lost the pursuit, we have an easier time getting in, but up at the top there's a gigundous generator. Sparks of electricity are flying everywhere. One of the keepers is Winifred the Sloth, and Winifred has a different plan: blow up the Spire.
I get the logic. Liberating the power grid means that it could be recaptured. Destroying it disarms part of the Master's plans. We also need to get closer to the center of the kingdoms. This means we need a non-linear strategy. Bungledyne is a town which forever rebuilds itself, so let's rebuild something entirely new.
It all comes together for me, right away. There's an electrodynamic field that can- well, it's physics and technobabble. There's enough electricity up here that I can make the spire fly, motherfuckers.
📚🧒🏾 Tyrone: Bungledyne used to be a place of creativity but not is filled with anxiety. There is the Spiral Tower. Lots of cafes.
Spire; Hall of Wonders; Museum of art, history, invention; shops, hotels and cafes.
- Mike sees a murder of crows ahead of us, we go the other way, trying to find Dr Luftwonder.
- At Dr Leo’s place, a kitten maid answers the door. The Dr is working elsewhere for weeks.
- It was a matter of urgency that he work uninterrupted. He has lost the courage for failure.
- It has had a makeover—it is now dark, all angles and points, wires drooping and bundle together into the horizon in the direction that we were going.
- There are people and crows coming and going from the spire.
- There is a clown watching the door. Qui gets licked by him.
- The clown blows a squeaky horn and a large, balloonish man blocks our way.
- There are two murders following us and we have to get away
- Mike makes me a super-vape
- Clown aspect “Patience masters of tricks and lures”, “Bungledyne: Anything is Possible”
- We manage to evade them.
Steampunk Rabbit, Gil Gamefoot, the greatest spark runner in town.
- Things are a lot different than before the egg.
Hall of Wonders
It is shuddered and dark with a hand-painted sign that says Closed.
- Milo knows a guy and we’re able to get in
- We find Dr Luftwonder!
- The crows arrived the same day there was a proclamation that Egg had returned and wants their rightful place.
- We notice that Dr Luftwonder is wearing a wire.
- Vulturine—they took all the Talismans from the museum. They are the crow’s bosses. They are the enemies generals. They are manipulative and physically impressive. “Confident in their authority” is an aspect.
- He has overheard about the master of Egg. Goal aspect: “I will restore Fyrsome to its rightful place”. Fyrsome was once the fourth kingdom of Nest.
- The crows and a snipe jump Tyrone, who yells for help. We take them out but not before Tyrone gets a “painful lashing”
- Spooky encounters the new chief engineer, Winifred, a sloth who has a crush on Spooky. She has a plan to blow up the Spire.
Session 3 - "That's a Really Good Networking Opportunity" (Conundrum)
📚🧒🏾 Tyrone: Going through the rubble we try to help all those who we can. Ty and Qui have a discussion about safety, so of course Ty gets stuck. We help out.
People playing pomp and circumstance in graduation robes come riding into town, firing guns into the air. The take the insecurity from Qui, the thesis from Mike, the grief of Ty, and Billy’s racist animated comedy. “Information Highway Robbery”
Lost and Found Brothers have a broken wagon as we go on down the road. They are identical twin brothers. Orp and Noc are their names.
There is a hedge maze that we have to get through. We get through the gate and the “maze” is a straight line. We enter the door and covering the entire wall is covered with RULES. They are mostly just simple rules—i.e. “don’t run with scissors”.
We encounter some students reading Virginia Wolfe. They tell us that questions are bad. We find out that the headmistress is often in her office. She is a woman of indetermindate age and wearing a mint late-80s power suit. She immediately notes what we each gave up to the information highway robbery.
There is a three way fight between the Unchantress, Snipe, and Jack. Ty is nearly spirited away by the Unchantress unmakes the Snipe. As she does so, Ty slugs her in the face, “You are UNMADE bitch!”. Then a murder of crows rushes in and we dart out, going separate ways.