Jogos de RPG

Encontram aqui Sistemas completos e conjuntos de Regras Opcionais criados e desenvolvidos pelos nossos utilizadores.

Desenvolvimento dos jogos do Desafio Jogo Trifásico 2007

No seguimento das troca de ideias sobre este concurso achei por bem criar esta secção.

Visto ter sido considerado boa ideia os participantes irem mostrando o seu trabalho, para que todos possam contribuir no seu desenvolvimento e evitar repetição de ideias, criem aqui uma Página Filha com o nome do jogo que pensam desenvolver e usem essa página para criar um "Livro" do vosso jogo. Assim todos podem ver e participar na troca de ideias.

Filth & Fury

"...as coisas não são como eram antes. Onde antes havia árvores e campo, estende-se hoje uma imensa selva de prédios. Onde antes havia o cheiro das flores,

está o asfixiante fumo preto das máquinas. Onde antes havia fontes e espíritos, há hoje betão,lama, e tudo o que é sujo e que não me atrevo a contar...

...pois o meu povo já dominou sobre esta terra. Percorríamos as planícies e bebíamos das fontes onde havia espíritos, e éramos O Povo. Depois vieram os

Alpar, e o nosso mundo mudou....

...ainda mais estranhos que os espíritos, os Alpar guerreram connosco pela terra e pelo domínio, mudando de forma, frios e distantes, quando enviavam os seus

mensageiros era sempre com intenções de maldade. Aos poucos perdíamos a guerra, e soubémos então que para combater este mal precisávamos de outras forças...

...o herói Hawrk'hu foi enviado ao Poço do Conhecimento para aprender um grande segredo, e embora não tenha sobrevivido, o seu espírito chegou até nós. Até

hoje somos o Povo de Hawrk'hu, e celebramos em sua memória....

...num ritual grande e secreto acordámos os Dhuer das montanhas, o povo da pedra viva, para que nos ajudassem contra os Alpar. Os Dhuer não eram melhores que

os Alpar, mas estavam tão descontentes como nós com a sua presença, e conseguiram afastá-los...

...durante centenas de anos estabelecemos as fronteiras naturais do nosso mundo com os Alpar e os Dhuer. A natureza dos Dhuer e a dos Alpar haveriam de se

combinar, a estabilidade de uns com a frieza de outros, para criar a pior das raças, a mais malévola na sua vontade de ter mais e mais, terras...

...conhecimento de mudança dos Alpar, conhecimento da máquina dos Dhuer, e dos espíritos dos Hawrk'hu...

...assim nasceu esta Cidade, e assim cresceu esta cidade, com os quatro povos aqui, às vezes em guerra, às vezes em paz...

...esta cidade é o Coração do Mal. Esta Cidade está poluída nas suas torres, de onde os Barões olham para baixo e não vêm as pessoas...

...o Dragão, o Invocador, o Espírito e as famílias...

...quero que saibas quem és, por isso escrevo isto. Lembra-te da tua herança..."

-Fragmento das Memórias de Gohm'jha Hawrk'hu Spirit Talker, antes de ser assassinado, roubado e esquartejado numa ruela em Herdman's Drain

Cartas

Neste jogo há 3 tipos de cartas: Cartas de Personagem, de História e de Objectivo.

A seguir, vou mostrar as várias cartas disponíveis, e vou acrescentar a esta lista enquanto for trabalhando no jogo. Sintam-se à vontade para colocar comentários, questões e sugestões.

Cartas de Personagem

Nome:    Hogr R'gash
Raça:     Hawrk'hu
Conceito:  Caçador de Prémios
Vícios:    Ópio
Perícias:  Combate 3, Conhecimento 2, Interacção 2, Magia 1, Subterfúgio 2
Vantagens: Combate a longa distância, ataque de submissão

Algumas explicações: Vícios são tudo o que o vai prejudicar; a qualquer altura o jogador pode invocar que está a submeter-se aos seus vícios, ganhando uma Carta de História, mas perdendo Pontos de História. Algumas cartas irão dizer especificamente isto, também, não dando no entanto nenhuma Carta de História, apenas fazem perder Pontos. Vão ver isto mais adiante.

As Perícias são: Combate, que serve apenas para combate fisico, Conhecimento, para mostrar o nível de conhecimento do personagem, Interacção, a medida de à-vontade e carisma do personagem, Magia, o seu conhecimento mágico, e Subterfúgio, como é que ele se mexe, se esconde, e consegue roubar sem ser visto.

As Vantagens acrescentam às Perícias, como no caso das descritas, que permitem fazer ataques ao longe (indica um arco e flecha, ou uma bésta, ou ainda uma pistola), ou alteram o seu efeito, ou permitem fazer outras coisas; há Vantagens que descrevem Conhecimentos, por exemplo, ou Contactos, etc.

Cartas de História

 - Em busca de informação -

As ruas contêm segredos... e o artista sabe onde e como os encontrar!

O jogador que colocar esta carta em jogo pode decidir como irá obter a informação necessária para a sua Missão.

Ele pode:

-Espancar uns quantos desalojados, mas irá obter uma informação incompleta, se tanto, e poderá atrair atenções (Teste de Combate: Dificuldade 4, Pontos de História: 2)
-Tentar falar com alguns contactos, que podem saber alguma coisa, mas precisa de os ter (Teste de Conhecimento ou Interacção: Dificuldade 7, Pontos de História: 5, Necessita de Contactos)
-Chamar espiritos que o ajude, sabendo que eles podem zangar-se por serem chamados por algo trival (Teste de Magia: Dificuldade 6, Pontos de História: 4)
-Tentar espiar o local, mas pode ser encontrado por guardas se falhar (Teste de Subterfúgio: Dificuldade 9, Pontos de História 6)

O jogador deve narrar o evento escolhido, dizendo como encontra a informação e em que condições, e narrar também em caso de falhar o Teste; pode ainda, em qualquer altura, lançar nova carta para juntar à trama!

Algumas explicações: o jogador decide sempre qual o caminho que deseja, logo a mesma carta pode ser usada por outro jogador com outro efeito diferente. Os Testes são feitos somando a Pericia ao resultado do lançamento de 2d6: se for igual ou superior, o Teste é bem sucedido. Algumas Vantagens acrescenta, a isto, alguns Vícios retiram. Partes no texto indicam claramente que podem ser jogadas outras cartas: se o jogador decidir Espancar uns Desalojados, então todos os outros vão saber, e podem aparecer inimigos, o que indica que outros jogadores, ou o mesmo, podem lançar Cartas de História com inimigos. É indicado também um número de Pontos de História, esta é a recompensa por passar o Teste e resolver a Carta. Os Pontos são somados para chegar à Dificuldade do Objectivo, mais adiante.

Cartas de Missão/Objectivo

 - Assalto no Laboratório -

Dificuldade: 50

Numa tarde, ao passar pelo Mercado de Hobb, um miudo dá um encontrão num de vós. Pede desculpa, e foge, meio assustado. Só mais tarde reparam que ele vos deixou uma mensagem:

"No Armazém 8 há uma porta escondida atrás de umas caixas, na parede Norte; essa porta liga a um laboratório, onde um Binder faz várias pesquisas. Tragam-me o Binder, vivo e de boa saúde, hoje até à Hora do Mocho, no beco do Esgoto do Pastor, e esperam-vos recompensas dignas de um rei."

Quando o grupo atingir 50 Pontos de História, chegam ao Armazém, por isso o jogador a completar os 12 pontos pode narrar o fim da missão. No entanto, suspeita-se que este Binder tenha já várias tatuagens com espíritos, e é provável que dê luta: ganhando mais uma Carta de História, alguém do grupo pode decidir lançar um qualquer Inimigo Mágico nessa altura, para representar o Binder que está preparado para eles.

Algumas explicações: A Dificuldade é o número de Pontos de História que devem ser acomulados até o Objectivo ser bem sucedido. Algumas Missões, como esta, têm um último Teste.

Magia & Dragões

 

O fim do mundo está próximo e tu encontras-te entre os responsáveis.
Há sete anos atrás, a Magia voltou ao mundo pelas mãos de pessoas como tu.
Nos teus sonhos, vislumbraste aquilo que querias ser, tomaste esse poder e vestiste-te nele.
Num instante, muitos como tu deram forma à sua imaginação e levaram a humanidade mais longe que nunca.
Temido e respeitado, a ti chamam-te mago, feiticeiro, chamam-te bruxa, sacerdotisa.
Todavia, mal eles sabem daquilo pelo qual és culpado.

Na imensidão do poder ilimitado que acordaste, a Magia não existe só em ti.
Por cada um como tu, outras criaturas existem, que sempre existiram desde a eternidade.
Se vós sois príncipes do Sonho, eles são mestres do Pesadelo.
Se vós sois luz da Criação, eles são a noite da Revolta e Destruição.
Se vós ergueis a coroa da sagrada Razão, eles erguem garras de incontrolável Emoção.
Eles existem por ti e tu por eles. E por vós o mundo nasce e morre.

No céu levantam-se as sombras dos Dragões. Será hoje o fim do mundo?
Quando tudo morre à tua volta, serás mártir, tirano ou levarás a humanidada a uma guerra eterna?

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3 perguntas de desenvolvimento

3 respostas sujeitas a constante actualização.

 

Sobre que é o jogo?

Magia e Dragões é acerca da tua cidade reduzida a ruínas pela passagem de terroríficas criaturas voadoras que ensombram o céu com as suas asas. É acerca de pessoas comuns com poderes extraordinários, capazes de criar qualquer coisa a partir da sua imaginação, que se tornam líderes e heróis de toda a civilização. É acerca do combate épico e fabuloso entre magos e dragões sobre o topo dos arranha-céus das grandes metrópoles, uma última grande guerra que pode engolir o mundo.

Magia e Dragões é acerca de extremos de poder, autoridade e responsabilidade. O que fazer quando o poder que usas para o bem de todos também os está a matar e já foste longe demais para dele renunciares? Aqui se opõe as forças do destino ao valor do indivíduo. A civilização desconhece a ligação entre os seus maiores herois e os seus maiores vilões. As pessoas têem o direito a saber - mesmo que isso não salve vidas - ou é essencial esconder a verdade em nome de preservar a autoridade que as pode proteger? É melhor viver em ignorãncia ou morrer em liberdade?

 

O que é que as personagens fazem?

Perante a ameaça premente, os nossos heróis salvam a sua cidade da destruição e combatem gigantescos Dragões, monstros cujo olhar cruel e inteligente desafia a compreensão humana. Para concentrarem o seu poder, os nossos protagonistas tentam reunir-se e apoiar-se. Munidos da Magia da criação, nos últimos sete anos eles elevaram o progresso da civilização humana. Agora, tentam segurar as pontas e enfrentar a verdade sobre o que se passa. Confrontados com o conhecimento que todos os seus actos extraordinários fortalecem os seus próprios inimigos, lidam com o drama de perpetuarem o conflito para impedir o fim do mundo.

 

O que é que os jogadores fazem?

Os jogadores, no limite das noções mais épicas de magia, exploram uma história dramática posta a baloiçar no fim da civilização humana. Um deles - o Arquimago - é responsável por apresentar o ambiente e fazê-lo desenrolar-se de acordo com o tema descrito acima, pressionando as personagens a agirem emocionalmente e/ou a usarem cada vez mais magia. A maior parte dos jogadores criam e controlam os protagonistas, não só conduzindo a sua reacção perante os vários dramas apresentados, mas também determinando o rumo da história de acordo com as suas decisões.

O sistema integra valores próprios de Destino e de Vontade para cada personagem. Destino ajuda a ter maior sucesso em todos os lançamentos de Magia. Vontade ajuda em todos os outros lançamentos. Cada jogador escolhe como estes valores evoluem ao longo da sessão, dando a entender para que lado do tema as suas personagens estão a tender. O Arquimago deve observar esta evolução de forma a criar conflito dentro da história. Se o jogador se entrega ao seu Destino e procura avançar sem remorsos para a Terceira Guerra Mundial, o Arquimago apresenta-lhe a filha de seis anos que pergunta ao pai o que é que lhe vai acontecer. Se o jogador exerce a sua Vontade própria e procura fugir para as montanhas com a namorada, o Arquimago mostra-lhe todos os gritos de sofrimento e mãos suplicantes que ele abandona à sua sorte.

Os jogadores deverão negociar oportunamente estas situações de forma a integrar o interesse de todos na história.

criação de personagem

Mantendo a intenção de fazer um jogo em português que seja fácil de aprender e de começar, a criação de personagem é relativamente simples: Aspectos, Tesouros e Saberes.
Existem três aspectos que caracterizam a personagem: Terra, Lua e Sol - aspectos que são classificados de um a cinco. Temos também espaço para listar Saberes e espaço para listar Tesouros.

Começa-se por distribuir 10 estrelas entre os três aspectos, sendo que - como acontece em tudo o que é classificado por estrelas - não pode ser menor que um nem maior que cinco.
Isto, por exemplo, pode dar qualquer coisa como:

Aspectos

  • Terra: 2 estrelas
  • Lua: 3 estrelas
  • Sol: 5 estrelas

Cada um dos aspectos caracteriza a personagem a diferentes níveis. De forma resumida:

  • Terra é o aspecto físico. Caracteriza força, resistência física, coordenação motora, etc.
  • Lua é o aspecto mental. Caracteriza inteligência, percepção, empatia, subterfúgio, auto-controlo, etc.
  • Sol é o aspecto social. Caracteriza carisma, coragem, convicção, liderança, etc.

De seguida, temos espaço para listar aquilo que é de mais precioso para a personagem, Tesouros e Saberes. Para já, na parte dos Tesouros, todos os jogadores escrevem o nome da cidade que ajudaram a desenvolver brutalmente em poucos anos. Paris, São Paulo, Detroit, Évora, o que quiserem. Entretanto, todos os jogadores poêm também como primeiro item na parte dos Saberes qualquer coisa como "Eu sou o fim do mundo", "Os dragões existem por minha causa" ou "A Magia traz os Dragões".

Depois, para começar de forma simples, cada jogador escolhe e escreve para a sua personagem um Tesouro e um Saber à sua escolha. Estes devem ser inventados pelos jogadores, mas eventualmente haverá uma lista com sugestões.

Para isto, há que ter em conta que as personagens - os Fundadores, como podem ser chamados - já se tornaram membros importantíssimos da sua cidade, cheios de dinheiro, capas de revista, fãs, detractores, etc. As únicas coisas que não podem simplesmente comprar são os Tesouros que têem um valor pessoal - família, paixões, sonhos - e os Saberes que simplesmente têem que se aprender. Seguindo o exemplo:

Tesouros
"São Petersburgo"
"A minha neta Erica"

Saberes
"Sou tão monstruoso como os dragões"
"Médico cirugião"

Certamente que isto não é o suficiente para explicar a criação de personagem - pois faltam as regras e o ambiente - mas fica aqui o básico. Gosto particularmente dos aspectos e da escolha das palavras em português.

introdução ao setting

Esta é uma apresentação do setting que cada jogador necessita de saber para poder criar uma personagem e jogar a sua primeira sessão. Do ponto de vista do mestre-jogo, haverá um pouco mais que ele precisa de ver detalhado, mas isto é o suficiente para começar.


A Magia

Neste jogo, os protagonistas e os Dragões são dois lados da mesma moeda, duas faces do poder da Magia sobre o ambiente. No entanto, em ambos os casos, criar um feitiço é instintivo e imediato - não se trata de aprender incantações ou organizar rituais, mesmo que os personagens possam querer rodear-se dessas decorações. O uso de Magia é também completamente evidente e chama à atenção sobre quem a está a utilizar. Cabe ao jogador descrever cores, raios de luz, trovões, seja o que for que acompanhe o seu feitiço. É impossível ser discreto.

A Magia de um personagem é apenas e só o grande poder de criar o que ele quiser (e do qual tenha conhecimento). Até certo ponto, pode até controlar ligeiramente aquilo que cria, mas tudo o que tenha a ver com alterar, transformar, destruir, etc. já passa para o domínio dos Dragões. Esta é a fronteira entre os dois. Pelo seu lado, os Dragões podem fazer tudo através da Magia, excepto criar algo a partir do nada.

Na prática, os protagonistas conseguem, por exemplo, largar gigantescas bolas de fogo sobre os seus inimigos, voar sobre os ventos, erguer uma fortaleza, encher uma barragem, tudo é possível desde que o feitiço crie alguma coisa. Nunca conseguem directamente controlar o curso de um rio ou acalmar uma tempestade, mas podem criar uma pedra gigantesca para desviar a torrente de água. Apesar de impressionante, a Magia que está no domínio dos protagonistas funciona de forma bastante racional e até mesmo científica. Qualquer pessoa consegue criar uma chama de fogo, mas para criar uma fortaleza é necessário já algum tipo de conhecimento ou então terá de ser algo muito simples. Uma personagem pode conseguir criar do nada um coração humano ou um tanque, mas para isso já precisa de ter Saberes em medicina ou engenharia.

Tanto para os Dragões como para os Fundadores, criar ou alterar/destruir a psique humana é praticamente impossível. Um protagonista pode mesmo tentar saber de medicina, filosofia e religião para criar um ser humano completo, mas o melhor resultado possível será um mero robot orgãnico.

 

O Que Aconteceu

Há sete anos atrás, a Magia voltou ao mundo pela mão de pessoas comuns, que inesperadamente acordaram com o maior dos poderes. O mais diverso tipo de pessoas de todas as partes do mundo - homens, mulheres, crianças, velhos e jovens - revelou ter o poder para criar tudo que quisesse. Algumas delas foram perseguidas pelo que fizeram, algumas mortas, algumas fugiram e desapareceram, algumas foram homenageadas. Aqueles que melhor se adaptaram foram os poucos que colocaram os seus poderes ao serviço das suas comunidades e foram assim aclamados como os Fundadores de uma nova era.

No entanto, nos seus sonhos, estes herois urbanos sabiam que algo se passava de terrivelmente errado e quando, sete anos passados, os Dragões surgem nos ceús, eles sabem o que isso significa. A Magia que eles haviam trazido de volta ao mundo era apenas uma parte do todo. O restante pertence aos Dragões e eles também estão de volta. Tudo aquilo que eles fundaram e que lhes é precioso está agora em risco pela chegada destas criaturas inimagináveis. Cada feitiço que fez e faz avançar a civilização também as torna mais fortes e capazes de a destruir. Os Fundadores são, ao mesmo tempo, os únicos capazes de enfrentar os Dragões e os únicos responsáveis pela sua existência.

 

Quem Somos

Os protagonistas desta história são os últimos Fundadores que restam após a primeira chegada dos Dragões. Não há mais ninguém no mundo como eles, ninguém com os mesmos poderes ou responsabilidades. Ao longo dos anos, poderão ter construído o seu império pessoal ou o seu culto secreto, poderão ter-se tornado celebridades ou políticos muito importantes, poderão ter mascarado os seus poderes como uma forma de religião ou feitiçaria. Terá havido uma grande cidade que ajudaram a criar ou a desenvolver em conjunto com outros Fundadores e é nessa cidade que todos agora se encontram, em preparação para o que irá acontecer.

A relação entre os Fundadores é tensa e complicada. Cada um conhece aquilo do que o outro é capaz e sabe a lamentável verdade por trás da Magia. Nenhum deles precisa do outro para a põr em prática, mas, em certas situações, é sempre mais seguro não tentar um feitiço sozinho. Assim, poderão até já ser amigos, mas a dúvida mantém-se sobre até que ponto poderão confiar um no outro.

As relações entre um Fundador e as pessoas da comunidade que o rodeia são intensas e variadas. Há sempre um conjunto de autoridades políticas, militares, religiosas, etc. a pressionar o Fundador a fazer isto ou aquilo - acompanhados de uma enorme atenção e comentários por parte dos media. É inevitável um Fundador ter inúmeros fãs ou detractores entre a população - uma relação que depende bastante de como ele próprio apresenta o seu poder. Além disso, neste momento, ninguém para além dos Fundadores sabe da relação entre a Magia e os Dragões.

Shazaam!

É só para reservar o nome.

FATE Light

O FATE é um sistema de RPG (http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role-playing_game) de mesa criado por Robert Donoghue, Fred Hicks e Leonard Balsera. Este texto é baseado na sua versão 3.0 e representa a visão específica do seu autor, Michael Moceri, de como o tornar mais acessível e elegante. Espero que o apreciem e que este seja um ponto de partida para que possam criar várias variações.

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FATE Ultra-light

O FATE é um sistema de RPG (http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role-playing_game) de mesa criado por Robert Donoghue, Fred Hicks e Leonard Balsera.

Este texto é baseado na sua versão 3.0 e representa a visão específica do seu autor, Michael Moceri, de como o tornar ainda mais acessível e elegante do que uma primeira versão chamada FATE Light (http://www.abreojogo.com/files/FATELightPT.doc).

Espero que o apreciem e que este seja um ponto de partida para que possam criar várias variações.

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Farside (Título Provisório)

O sistema de Don't Rest Your Head (DRYH) originou-me três reacções:
1 - Quando o estava a ler: Isto é muito fixe!
2 - Quando acabei de ler: Tenho que jogar isto!
3 - Quando joguei: Isto é tudo o que eu pensei que fosse, estou contente!

Embora o universo associado ao sistema seja genial, fiquei com a impressão que (para além do universo publicado) este sistema seria magnífico para um jogo de super-heroís.

Passo a (tentar) explicar (na minha opinião) a essência do sistema:
O jogo funciona na base da resolução de conflitos com d6, sendo que o GM pode trazer para o seu lado até 15 dados (dados de Pain), os jogadores também podem trazer até 15 dados mas de 3 fontes diferentes, 3 dados de Disciplines, 6 dados de Madness e 6 dados de Exaustion.

O sucesso é definido pelos números 1-2-3, ou seja, mais dados = maior sucesso. Por outro lado existe a Dominance que é definida pelos número 4-5-6 que representam Coisas Más que podem acontecer na resolução do conflito para além do sucesso, ou seja, mais dados = maior probabilidade de correr alguma Coisa Má.

Em bruto é isto.

No DRYH essas Coisas Más são algo que acontece ao jogador e são muito centradas nele, o que faz sentido pois o jogo é sobre isolamento e loucura. Contudo, tendo eu lido quase toda a vida BDs sobre super-heroís que apesar dos seus poderes e de lutarem constantemente pela humanidade têm sempre Coisas Más a acontecerem-lhes por causa disso (Exemplo: X-Men), pelo que acho que este sistema é simplesmente brilhante para esse tipo de histórias.

Por isso mesmo aqui vai uma aplicação alternativa que imaginei para o sistema de DRYH usando o conceito de super-heroís.

Habitantes

Tribos Vermilion

Aparentemente a extensão desolada de Farside não parece ser um meio suficientemente propício ao desenvolvimento da vida humana tal como a conhecemos. As abruptas irregularidades das suas dunas inconstantes e desfiladeiros inesperados, o calor insuportável e o solo desprovido de fertilidade e bonança, os poucos predadores naturalmente desperados que se consomem em agonia e fúria, no fundo todos estes elementos contribuem definitivamente para a singularidade do povo que habita grande parte desta região. Este grupo populacional dominante é um conjunto incoerente de várias tribos de caçadores-recolectores que devido às suas semelhanças culturais e místicas são chamados de Tribos Vermilion pelos Tultek, os habitantes das Pylons, apesar do nome ancestral deste povo nómada ser efectivemente os Kimeca.

Ao longe, através da distorção visual proporcionada pelo sol abrasador do deserto, o primeira impressão que as Tribos Vermilion dão a quem se cruza no seu caminho é o do aproximar de um arrebentamento de ondas de um vermelho sangue que se dispersam conscientemente por toda a extensão da paisagem. Se por si esta imagem, figurada vividamente na mente do observador e decorada histéricamente pelos relatos da brutalidade e selvageria do seu modo de vida, não é suficiente para repelir o viajante menos seguro do seu caminho, provavelmente a visão dos corpos semi-despedidos pintados de um vermelho vivo o é claramente.

Homens, mulheres e crianças cobrem o seu corpo não só com peles de animais e outras peças de vestuário mas também recorrendo a um unguento de côr vermelha que aplicado na pele em grandes manchas decora parte siginificativa dos seus corpos. Essa decoração segue uma tradição meticulosamente honrada em cada Tribo Vermilion apesar de conter pequenas variações entre estas. A origem do unguento vermelho é um segredo perpetuado pelos Zealots cuja verdadeira proveniência resguardam de todos ao considerarem-na parte integrante e fundamental da ciência de Siphon e dos mistérios dos Primals.

As principais semelhanças residem no modo como os sexos são diferenciados consoante as partes do corpo pintadas: os homens pintam a totalidade da cabeça incluindo os cabelos e parte do seu tronco, do fim do pescoço à parte inferior do torax; as mulheres pintam a totalidade dos membros inferiores até à sua zona pélvica; as crianças mantém a sua pele desprovida de côr até a maioridade onde além de lhes ser atribuído o nome de adulto pelos seus pais será o Guardião da tribo a aplicá-la sobre a pele. Uma vez aplicada, a côr vermelha nunca sairá dos corpos dos Vermilion.

Os povos das Pylons, os Tultek e o seus Devisers, costumam usar o nome "vermilion" para descrever alguém que está acossado de fúria selvagem ou de uma brutalidade calculista, realçando a vermelhidão que a sua pele toma quando pratica tais actos. Em alguns círculos sociais dos Tultek, "vermilion" adquire assim um tom perjorativo, especialmente se usado na expressão "cão vermilion". Contudo a maioria dos habitantes das Pylon ainda consideram os costumes dos Vermilion, que levam a uma dura existência no deserto, como honrosos e respeitáveis.

Apesar de não ser claro para um observador estranho à tribo a razão de tal tradição é uma de homenagem e devoção à autoridade e justeza do poder alcançado pelos Zealots.  Para que o Zealot possa usar o poder do Vim, a substância tecnorgânica que lhes permite usar Siphon, a ciência de alterar as partes do corpo, transformando-as e melhorando-as extraordinariamente de modo a fazer proezas sublimes, este terá que usar a vitalidade do seu sangue para sustentar a sua utilização. Aquando da primeira vez que um Zealot usa Vim, não habituado as suas exigências este entra facilmente em BoilEsta detoriação do Vim origina o descontrole total dessa tecnologia provocando uma falta desastrosa na biomecânica do seu corpo deste e fazendo com que um refluxo do sangue utilizado pelo Vim seja segregado pela sua pele. A partir deste momento a totalidade do seu corpo adquire uma vermelhidão escura que o diferencia da restante tribo. Não se sabe quando a prática de pintura dos corpos dos Kimeca começou realmente, se quando os habitantes das Pylons providenciaram o seu conhecimento sobre VimSiphon ou se foi quando a primeira Tribo Vermilion encontrou um das Hollows e a sua respectiva Swallow, mas definitivamente esta terá tido lugar quando a tribo presenciou pela primeira vez um Boil do seu primeiro Zealot.

O que os restantes membros da tribo desconhecem é que o unguento que usam para pintar os corpos são efectivamente produzido através da maceração de pequenos vermes parasitas, um dos seres vivos predominantes no deserto, que em contacto com o sangue transformado pelo Vim crescem exponencialmente e têm de ser retirados. A sua côr avermelhada adquirida devido ao Vim é assim usada para não só pelo sua praticabilidade como também devido ao seu significado acrescido de ter tido um contacto íntimo com o corpo daqueles que têm o poder de defender a tribo, os Zealots.

Os Vermilion subsistem principalmente da caça dos poucos animais do deserto e das planícies e pequenas montanhas que os rodeiam. A maioria das tribos customam também colher raízes e bagas da pouca vegetação que existe nessas zonas inóspitas. Algumas tribos começaram também a estabelecer-se sasonalmente em algumas zonas de depressão colhendo os frutos de alguma uso experimental de uma agricultura que conseguiram descobrir ao longo dos anos.

 

Introdução

Este é um texto introdutório para o jogo, aquele que normalmente aparece nas primeiras páginas do livro antes de se começar sequer a falar em mecânicas e settings.

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Abro os olhos.

E uma explosão de informação invadiu-me os sentidos.

Volto a fechá-los.

Focar, concentrar, estabilizar a essência espiritual.

Volto a abrir.

Abro os olhos.

Uma esfera amarela contra um fundo preto.

Ver mais perto.

Estou a pairar sobre uma cordilheira, por debaixo de mim picos desafiantes e vales profundos rasgam o colosso rochoso que se estende por quilómetros.

Mergulho sobre eles.

Navego por entre os seus canais, observo as criaturas que habitam as suas profundezas e os magníficos tesouros que guardam. Umas, mais destemidas, revoltaram-se contra as limitações que lhes foram impostas pela natureza e lançaram-se sobre o vazio dos ventos. Sustentando-se em enormes asas que crescem dos seus braços dominam os céus como deuses e lançam-se para o infinito do deserto que se estende para além das fronteiras da cordilheira. Procuram de meios de subsistências os seus pares... e algo mais.

Prossigo para Norte vendo a impiedosa massa de areia a castigar os incautos e os que não lhe prestam a devida reverência, lançando-lhes monstruosidades das suas profundezas, abrindo buracos debaixo dos seus pés e engolindo caravanas inteiras de tribos nómadas.

Submirjo pela sua pele dourada, algo chama por mim aqui debaixo, um desejo, uma necessidade, algo intenso.

Por momentos fico paralisado, reinos e nações inteiras estendem-se à minha frente, escondidas por este manto de areia.

Banho-me no seu conhecimento e no poder que encerram, perco-me na sua imensidão e riqueza. Caminho no seu seio perdendo toda e qualquer noção de tempo até chegar a uma sala, oiço ruídos do outro lado das paredes.

Um estrondo violento ocupa a sala por breves segundos seguido de homens empunhado estranhas ferramentas.

Eles vasculham e mexem em tudo, movidos por um equilíbrio ténue entre a ganância e a curiosidade. Muitos encontram o seu fim neste local, atrevendo-se a mexer com conhecimento sobre o qual não têm qualquer capacidade de compreender ou dominar.

De entre este homens uma mulher destaca-se, envergando uma veste de tecido grosso e carregando o peso do tempo no seu rosto: Esta entra na câmara, senta-se no chão e medita. Durante dias perde-se nos confins da sua própria mente, abrindo fontes de conhecimento dentro de si mesma. Quando sai do transe olha de novo à volta da câmara, mas desta vez os seus olhos brilham com sabedoria... porque será que parece que ela me consegue ver?

Levanta-se e dirige-se a várias consolas, activando mecanismos que o tempo há muito havia esquecido. A mulher volta para o exterior e faz um grande discurso ao resto da sua tribo que a espera ansiosamente.

Observei pacientemente enquanto esta pequena tribo começou a dar os primeiros passos numa nova direcção, usando o pouco que haviam conseguido decifrar da tecnologia perdida para crescerem como uma nova e estável comunidade.

Eu estava lá quando descobriram que podiam plantar os seus alimentos em vez de os caçar. Eu estava lá quando descobriram que podiam curar as suas feridas e doenças em vez de simplesmente enviar os doentes e feridos para a morte no impiedoso Deserto. Eu estava lá quando outras tribos nómadas convergiram para o local, atraídas pelos rumores das descobertas e despoletando uma guerra sangrenta contra os vários adversários. No  no fim apenas um cemitério a céu aberto residia no local da contenda.

Perdeu-se tudo mas vou continuar a minha viagem.

A história repete-se por todo o planeta. Algumas tribos sobrevivem ao impacto inicial gerado pela descoberta dos artefactos reencontrados mas outras não pois criam cidades e nações em honra à glória das suas descobertas. Ainda outras simplesmente pilham o que podem para poderem vendê-las noutras cidades mantendo-se assim fieis aos seus princípios nómadas.

Guerras irrompem pelo Deserto entre tribos tecnológicas e não-tecnológicas, entre tribos nómadas pelo domínio sobre uma manada migratória, ou entre cidades e nações pelo controlo de mais ínfima fonte de artefactos.

Algumas brilham apenas como clarões no horizonte enquanto outras são guerras santas, mantendo chama viva do ódio deflagrado desde há séculos atrás.

Estou agora a sobrevoar a cidade mais a Norte deste planeta, uma gigantesca mancha cinzenta com edifícios enormes a brotar da areia e a recortar a linha do horizonte. Contudo esta civilização ainda paga penosamente pela sua ganância. De novo um Vento Vermelho desce das montanhas para cobrir os céus e com ele calcorreia outro surto de doenças de mãos dados com um ataque dos povos das montanhas.

Estou farto desta devastação e guerra constante.

Procuro algo novo. O que mais é que estes seres trouxeram para o mundo?

Uma grande e colorida caravana trilha as areias eternamente, levando consigo tendas carregadas com criaturas exóticas capazes dos feitos mais extraordinários que se possa pensar, objectos e alimentos nunca antes vistos que fazem a delícia de quem os experimenta.

Estou fascinado, acho que vou seguir estas gentes durante algum tempo...

O que é isto?

Um homem perdido no deserto... Não, não está perdido, apenas sozinho e rejeitado. Sigo as suas pegadas para ver de onde veio.

Oiço os sons de luta atrás de uma colina. Não, outra não! Vou-me embora... não... passa-se algo de diferente... Algo mais!

Passo a colina, e observo dezenas de seres. Homens-lagarto montados em veículos de propulsão lançam-se loucamente sobre uma caravana nómada. No meio está apenas um homem imóvel e apesar da sua convicção vacilar ele encerra em si um poder incrível que se utilizado pode pôr em perigo todos aqueles que jurou proteger.

Eu consigo sentir o poder a pulsar dentro dele, a crescer cada vez mais, incontrolável!

Sinto esse poder a ressoar dentro de mim, a chamar-me, a tornar-se uma parte de mim.

Ele tomou a sua decisão, vai libertar tudo...

Uma onda de calor e luz solta-se e consome tudo à sua volta.

Ela envolve-me, sinto-me vivo, poderoso, rejuvenescido. Pela primeira vez desde que sei que existo sinto-me... livre.

Delicio-me e perco-me neste mar de sensações...

Fecho os olhos...

Quem sou eu?

Que mundo é este para o qual acordei?

O Mundo

Farside encontra-se esquecida nos confins de um mundo que nos é familiar, não só pela brutalidade da existência diária dos seus habitantes como pela natureza humana deste que nos é comum. Esta terra, coberta por gigantescos desertos e cadeias montanhosas, pontilhada aqui e ali por fios de água e pequenos lagos, é um local duro e violento, onde todos os dias se luta pela vida.

Devido a estas condições os humanos que habitam este planeta são obrigados a viver em comunidade, encontrando nos números a força e recursos necessários à sobrevivência. Estes grupos de pessoas  são as Tribos Vermilion, conhecidas como Kimeca, que percorrem o planeta seguindo manadas de animais que usam para se alimentar, vestir, domesticar para efectuar trabalhos pesados, etc. Contudo existem grupos que se conseguiram estabelecer num local específico e tornaram-se em fundadores de Pylons, cidades majestosas povoadas de pirâmides de pedra viva, cujos habitantes passaram ser chamados de Tultek em honra a primeira Pylon de que há registos, Tul. Isto aconteceu há vários séculos atrás a tribos que vieram a descobriram uma das vários Hollows, ruínas antigas que vão surgindo por debaixo das areias desta região ou dentro das suas cavernas e montanhas e que são reservatórios imensos de objectos feitos a partir de Vim ou de piscinas da própria substância, chamadas Swallows.

Ninguém sabe a origem destas ruínas, estes poços ricos de uma tecnologia claramente superior a qualquer coisa que os habitantes de Farside são capazes de construir e que é baseada principalmente no uso extraodináriamente avançado desse fluído viscoso tecnorgânico capaz de alterar os corpos de quem o usa e, que se for alimentadas com sangue suficiente, é de transformar em pedra viva que se molda à velocidade do pensamento.

A maioria deste locais são Hollows, grandes edifícios recheados de objectos desta tecnologia ou o que resta de grandes cidades cuja tecnologia ninguém além dos habitantes das Pylon, os Tultek, conseguem decifrar e tirar uso-fruto, sendo por isso alvo de saques constantes das Tribos Vermilion que as encontrem para trocarem os despojos com os Tultek (normalmente por tecnologia funcional que possam usar para proteger a tribo).

Contudo de tempos em tempos alguém consegue compreender e utilizar a tecnologia incorporada nas ruínas dessas cidades antigas, usando-a para estabelecer a sua população no local, transformando-se a comunidade numa Pylon.

Embora a utilização desta tecnologia seja uma das fontes de poder em Farside, não é a única. Devido ao ambiente hostil onde são obrigados a viver e a proximidade que existe entre os membros de cada tribo, começaram-se há já séculos a estabelecer práticas religiosas dentro de cada povo, nos tribais Vermilion ou nos civilizados Tultek. Estas não são apenas orações feitas a deuses esquecidos utilizadas para trazer conforto e esperança às pessoas, são verdadeiras fontes de um poder místico e primal que permite conceder a quem é alvo das suas rezas poderes incríveis e inimagináveis. A diferença reside na constatação ancestral do poder manifesto pelos Primals na natureza através da Sublimation dos seus Zealots das Tribos Vermilion como sendo parte de um todo divino de Farside. Esta prática antiga veio a dar origem à personificação mundana dos Primals como agentes da vontade egoísta dos Devisers dos Tultek, uma prática instituída pelos povos das Pylonsm e considerada mais civilizada e ordeira do que a Sublimation praticada pelos Zealots.

A Caravana

A Caravana

Se os Vermilion migram facilmente consoante a sua necessidade de sobrevivência, limitando-se à atravessarem continuamente um dado território que lhe é familiar e cujas propriedades e características podem usar tendo em vista o bem dos elementos que a compôem, o mesmo não se poderá dizer d'A Caravana.

A Caravana é um comunidade de gente renegada quer pelos Vermilion ou pelas Pylons, de aberrações e mutilados, comerciantes e prostitutas, malditos e proscritos, que viaja incessantemente por todo o Farside, criando novos trilhos onde estes não existem. Os seus rituais e modos são estranhos aos Vermilion e bizarros às Pylons pois muitos deles contradizem o senso comum da sobrevivência ou a às regras impostas em sociedade. Contudo, quando a fome ou a sede corrompem a vontade dos homens e necessidade e as normas podem ser esquecidas, surge no horizonte, vinda de uma direcção inesperada, a Caravana.

As Tribos dos Vermilion olham a Caravana com amargura e desconfiança, pois apesar desta ser a única maneira dos elementos da tribo que nasçam enfermos ou mutações encontrarem refúgio ou um lar, o preço a pagar é sempre grande, quer seja em lágrimas, culpa ou perversão. Por outro lado o que a Caravana tem para trocar com os Vermilion é sempre a resposta mais fácil aos seus problemas e, na maioria dos casos, algo que vai contra a crença dos seus membros no poder do mundo que os rodeia. A existência de sentimentos mal resolvidos entre membros exilados ou abandonados pelas tribos também não facilitam o abolir deste obstáculo.

A Caravana também é em si uma solução para um dos problemas que assola os Vermilion: o da consaguinidade. O sangue fraco e a doença atinge fortemente as tribos dos Vermilion mais aguerridas que não têm relações pacíficas com os outros Vermilion suficientemente fortes para que existam esses laços directos. Contudo, os prostitutos masculinos e as escravas em idade fértil d'A Caravana são uma solução necessária apesar de espiritualmente decadente, isto é, segundo as tribos que olham com desconfiança os ritos e costumes perversos dos membros desta comunidade sem lei nem grei. 

Gukumez

Gukumez


Os Mez eram a tribo mais antiga de Farside, eram conhecidos e temidos guerreiros e caçavam as manadas mais perigosas do planeta, os Guku. Para além de os caçar também prestavam vassalagem ao seu espírito, Kezkotel.


Com o passar dos anos e o aumento exponencial do tamanho da tribo devido a conquistas, Kezkotel conseguiu acumular imenso poder, o suficiente para fazer inveja ao grande Hekatel.

A rivalidade entre os dois cresceu depressa e os confrontos tornaram-se brutais. Hekatel tentou primeiro atacar as manadas de Guku com areias movediças para os prender no solo e desenvolvendo outras criaturas para se tornarem os seus predadores, contudo Kezkotel apoiado pelos Zealots e a fé da tribo iniciou poderosos rituais para aumentar a força e resistência das manadas, tornado-as nos animais mais poderosos de Farside.

Frustrado pela tentativa fracassada de destruir as manadas Hekatel mudou o foco dos seus ataques. Lançou gigantescas tempestades pelo deserto, estas varreram os locais mais recônditos do planeta colhendo na sua passagem os esporos venenosos que são libertadas para a atmosfera por raras e exóticas plantas, lançando-as depois sobre a tribo.

A epidemia alastrou-se lentamente, para não levantar suspeitas, mas quando deram por ela já havia varrido metade da população da tribo.

Kezkotel, completamente embriagado pelo poder das suas criaturas face ao Hekatel, ignorou os apelos desesperados da tribo. Indignados pela crueldade de ambos espíritos os Zealots viram-se sem escolha.

Atraíram Kezkotel para uma reunião entre os vários Zealots e membros da tribo, prometendo-lhe oferendas e tributos. Assim que apareceu iniciaram um ritual para o prender no local e depois, durante nove dias e nove noites, comeram-no.

Com este ritual conseguiram não só destruir Kezkotel como fundiram-se com os lagartos que constituíam o seu domínio, consumindo o seu poder e assimilando as suas características  num brutal e primitivo momento de glória.

No fim os Gukumez já não existiam, uma nova tribo e uma nova raça surgiu no seu lugar.

Os Gukumez não são uma tribo como as restantes, cada membro é completamente auto-suficiente e capaz de sobreviver sozinho mesmo onde o deserto é mais desolado ou perigoso. Isto deve-se às características melhoradas dos lagartos originais que herdaram com o ritual. Contudo continuam a juntar-se em grupos separados, não por qualquer necessidade de sobrevivência mas social.

Os grupos formam-se como uniões entre membros com ideologias e gostos semelhantes, são grupos onde se formam a maioria das verdadeiras amizades entre seres em Farside.

Demasiado resistentes para morrerem se isolados, os Gukumez são espíritos livres, não devendo vassalagem a ninguém e indo onde querem e fazendo o que querem, até alguém os conseguir parar.

Cada grupo de Gukumez é diferente do próximo, alguns são salteadores, outros exploradores, alguns até são mercadores. Contudo, apesar das diferenças ideológicas entre cada um, existe algo que é comum a todos, a Fome.

Para além de todas as capacidades que herdaram dos lagartos originais também receberam os seus hábitos alimentares, carne, humana ou animal é irrelevante, desde que seja crua e banhada em sangue quente. Por este motivo os estes são temidos por todo o Farside e a sua visão mais comum é a surgirem repentinamente por detrás de uma duna para carregar em massa sobre uma tribo.

Apesar de Kezkotel já não existir o processo pode ser replicado pelos xamãs da tribo usando alguns dos animais originais da manada, por isso os Gukumez correm o deserto à procura de novos humanos que possam juntar à sua tribo.

Rowers


De todos os grupos de Gukumez estes são os mais conhecidos. No início da sua formação este grupo atacou uma Swallow ocupada por uma tribo que havia recentemente descoberto os seus segredos.

Em vez de comerem os sobreviventes deixaram-nos vivos para lhes mostrarem as tecnologias que haviam descoberto, um meio de locomoção que nunca antes tinha sido visto em Farside.

Fazendo desta ruína a sua base de operações, os Rowers lançam os seus raides por todo o deserto usando uns estranhos engenhos que funcionam com motores propulsores e usam um sistema de pás rotativas para se deslocarem a velocidades alucinantes e a longas distâncias. Munidos deste engenhos eles atacam caravanas de tribos nómadas e cidades por todo o planeta, tornando-os por isso na face mais visível desta raça e totalmente imprevisíveis, podendo aparecer em qualquer altura e a qualquer lugar. Costumam ter contudo uma atracção quase sobrenatural por grandes conflitos desesperados ou sangrentos.

O seu líder é Kotel e é um dos seres mais duros de todo o planeta e um dos Zealots da tribo original. É um Gukumez alto, com olhos vermelhos munido de uma farta listra preta e longa, cheia de escamas, que lhe cai até ao fim das costas. Ao seu lado está sempre presente uma longa espada completamente lisa e brilhante que tem consigo desde os tempos de Zealot. Quando este entra em combate a sua lâmina, feita de Vim, funde-se com a sua pele tornando-o num colosso de metal que pode usar qualquer membro como uma espada afiada.

Kotel não tem um plano a longo prazo para a sua tribo, por enquanto apenas a quer expandir pelo deserto e mostrar o seu desprezo por tudo o que ele encerra, contudo começa a pensar no que pode realmente fazer com o poder que tem ao seu dispor.

13 Pain Dice

Os Rowers são a unidade mais básica desta tribo, normalmente andam em grupos de cinco (que valem 3 Pain Dice individualmente e 10 em grupo) mais um líder (que vale 5 Pain Dice).

Tanto para mostrarem o seu desprezo pelos seres inferiores e para aumentarem o temor que conseguem incutir nas suas vítimas, normalmente andam vestidos com roupas feitas das peles humanas e animais e pintam o seu corpo e cabelo com cores aberrantes e em formas estranhas.

O Grande Norte

O Norte de Farside é varrido por uma guerra santa secular, hordas de guerreiros artilhados com a tecnologia de guerra mais recente e nómadas cobertos com marcas ritualistas varrem o território em busca de povos mais fracos que possam seduzir ou forçar a servir no seu lado do conflito.

Os _tribo1_ foram dos primeiros nómadas que se atreveram a explorar o Grande Norte de Farside, enfrentando o deserto desolador estiveram à beira da extinção quando finalmente encontraram uma metrópole à muito perdida debaixo das areias.

Pouco tempo depois de se estabeleceram na região e começarem a crescer foram atacados de relâmpago pelos _tribo2_. O combate foi rápido e sangrento, os _tribos2_ movidos pela ganância recorreram a todo o tipo de tácticas para destruir os _tribo1_, evitaram combater com os seus Guardiões e concentraram-se no povo não guerreiro da tribo, fazendo assim com que os Guardiões perdessem a fé da sua tribo, usaram a pouca tecnologia que possuíam para lançar ataques devastadores e massivos por toda a região, matando indiscriminadamente e destruindo tudo no seu raio de acção, espiões foram enviados e por detrás das linhas envenenaram poços e alimentos.

Incapazes de resistir ao impacto de uma força tão bem coordenada e sem escrúpulos, os _tribo2_ retiraram para uma cordilheira nos limites do seu antigo domínio e reagruparam-se. Uma nova liderança mudou completamente o paradigma da tribo, introduzindo novos tabus e costumes transformou os _tribo2_ em adoradores fanáticos dos espíritos totémicos da natureza.

No âmago das montanhas mergulharam-se em rituais sangrentos e cantaram o nome de seres cuja natureza não existe nos conceitos que regem o mundo dos homens, entregaram-se à voracidade e brutalidade do seu lado mais primal e chamaram-lhe lar.

Quando ressurgiram do interior do solo rochoso os _tribo1_ eram uma nova tribo, orgulhosa, desafiante e disposta a tudo para vingar-se dos seus inimigos.

Saíram das montanhas e começaram a espalhar o seu evangelho de raça pura pelas tribos nómadas que passavam pela região, aqueles que não seguiram o seu credo foram simplesmente aniquilados para servir de exemplo ou então foram forçados (através de competições rituais) a juntarem-se a eles.

Depois de tomada a metrópole os _tribo2_ rapidamente iniciaram o processo de construção da sua nova casa a desenterrar as ruínas para explorar os seus tesouros. Dentro de poucos anos transformaram-se na força mais dominante dos territórios do Norte, a sua galopante taxa de descoberta e aprendizagem de novas tecnologia permitiu-lhes construir a maior cidade de Farside, estendendo-se por quilómetros em várias direcções e onde as mais avançadas peças tecnológicas são tratadas como bens comuns.

A par e passo com esta evolução tecnológica os _tribo2_ também cresceram como cultura. As novas descobertas tornaram-nos arrogantes e passaram a desprezar o seu passado nómada, auto-intitulando-se como a nação mais importante e civilizada do planeta.

Da sua capital _nome da cidade_ lançaram uma campanha de expansão "pacífica" para o sul, abordando pequenos aldeamentos que se foram criando com a descoberta de novas ruínas e acordando com eles - de uma maneira ou outra - um tratado de aliança (e vassalagem), prometendo tecnologias e apoio em troca de tributos - como alimentos para a sua população ou homens para combater nas suas guerras -.

Nesta altura o Grande Norte é uma região em guerra e tumulto constante, as tribos _tribo1_ e _tribo2_ degladiam-se diariamente pelo controlo de pontos vitais na zona e alianças são forjadas e quebradas com os ventos impiedosos que varrem o deserto.

Apesar da elevado grau tecnológico dos _tribo2_ estes são incapazes de conseguir ganhar vantagem nesta guerra, isto porque ao longo dos anos a sua "evolução cultura" introduziu novos hábito e tabus na tribo, incluindo códigos de honra que devem ser (na maior parte das vezes) respeitados pelos combatentes, infelizmente para eles os _tribo1_ não lhes dão assim tanta importância e recorrem a todo o tipo de tácticas para infligir dano na estrutura de influência sem escrúpulos ou preocupações morais.

Mais cedo ou mais tarde as manadas que a tribo dos PCs seguem para se alimentar iram rumar para Norte, metendo-os no meio deste conflito.

Quando/se isto acontecer eles iram ser abordados pelas duas forças e aliciados a escolherem um dos lados. Se algum deles for escolhidos isso irá trazer grandes mudanças à tribo, como por exemplo escolher entre deixar de usar Biotech ou Primal (em termos mecânicos) e mudanças de na estrutura cultural da tribo que poderão trazer ainda mais conflitos internos.

De qualquer maneira este envolvimento deve sempre estar de algum modo associado à resposta à pergunta da tribo "What's Your Path?".

Os Povos Alados do Sul

Em qualquer região de Farside os seus habitantes estão constantemente preocupados com os perigos que podem surgir das areias ou no horizonte, contudo no Sul os povos à muito que aprenderam a temer os céus mais do que qualquer criatura que faça a sua casa debaixo das traiçoeiras areias.

Os _nome da tribo_ representam a união e equilíbrio mais perfeita entre espíritos, homem e máquina. Desde os seus primórdios que _nome da tribo_ adoravam os espíritos dos ventos, sacrificando em seu nome as parcas criaturas aladas que conseguiam encontrar, incenerando os seus corpos e entregando as cinzas aos seus caprichos.

Seguindo as correntes dos Grandes Ventos rumaram a Sul, encontrando o Breath Of The World, uma gigantesca cordilheira que se estende por kilómetros em todas as direcções, dominada pelo ponto mais alto de todo o planeta, de onde nascem todas as correntes e ventos que assolam o planeta.

Seguindo a sua crença com determinação e fanatismo treparam a cordilheira e a montanha, durante dias e meses a tribo inteira funcionou como uma gigantesca e unificada massa humana que esburacando e escalando tomou a cordilheira de assalto. Criaram cavernas que serviam de base para caçar os imensos e exóticos pássaros que habitavam em grande número naquelas paragens, apartir dai lançavam novas expedições pelas escarpadas encostas das montanhas.

Depois de vários meses de luta contra o colosso rochoso e as várias criaturas bestiais que haviam feito da montanha o seu lar, os _nome da tribo_ conseguiram tomar o Pico e entraram pelos seus túneis para nunca mais voltarem a ser os mesmos.

No interior de uma gigantesca gruta no coração da montanha de onde vinham todos os ventos do mundo, encontraram uma gigantesca e misteriosa estrutura de metal, vida e vento. Esta nascia do chão rochoso e estendia-se por um poço que abria pela montanha até à superfície, como uma flor onde o metal e um material orgânico se entrelaçavam como um caule e o vento rodopiava à sua volta ao longo de toda a estrutura em correntes insanas que desafiavam todas as leis da natureza que o homem já percepcionava ser possível, no centro uma esfera brilhava como uma estrela providenciando a energia necessária para a estrutura funcionar.

Imediatamente os Xamãs e Zealots da tribo iniciaram um ritual para invocar os espírito desta grande criação, o Grande Espírito do Vento e dos ares. Após vários dias de devoção o espírito finalmente manifestou-se. Apareceu aos seus devotos como uma voz, um múrmurio que sopra leve ao ouvido num tom irresistível, trazendo consigo palavras de sabedorias arcanas, conhecimentos à muito esquecidos sobre os segredos que se escondem debaixo das areias e das montanhas, sobre a origem do planeta, da vida, do conhecimento, instruindo-os na tecnologia que existia nas entranhas do Pico e da Cordilheira, educando-os de modo a abandonarem os seus hábitos selvagens e superesticiosos e abraçarem o mundo do conhecimento e a verdadeira natureza suprema de um ser espiritual.

Quando a sua educação terminou os _nome da tribo_ emergiram com uma nova visão sobre o mundo e não tardaram a querer espalhá-la pelo mundo. Com os conhecimentos que adquiriram construiram mecanismos que lhes permitem domar as correntes de ar e os ventos de modo a poderem voar a grandes distâncis do solo e altas velocidades, permitindo-lhes alcançar qualquer ponto do planeta em pouco tempo. A sua missão é clara, lançar a guerra e destruição a todos os Terrenos ou trazê-los de volta para a montanha para que possam sentir o Sopro do Conhecimento e abrir os olhos para o verdadeiro mundo e qual o seu destino.

Um grupo normal de _nome da tribo_ é constituido por três elementos, valendo 6 dados de Pain e acumulando mais 2 por cada grupo novo e mais 1 por cada unidade.

Navegam os céus de Farside seguindo as instruções do omni-consciente Grande Vento, que os dirige para onde acha que seram mais úteis aos seus objectivos.

Os seus cabelos são completamente brancos, a pele pálida como mármore e os olhos cinzentos parecem fitar sempre o horizonte, perdidos em pensamento antigos e impenetráveis. A sua expressão e voz é calma e fria, não demonstrando qualquer tipo de emoção nem quando lançam os seus velozes e brutais ataques sobre populações indefesas e Guardiões opositores, oferencendo sempre a sua ajuda e conhecimento a quem o pedir, a única coisa que pedem em troca é que passem a adorar o Espírito dos Ventos e renegem para sempre a ingorância imposta pelo Deserto, prometendo protecção contra a previsivél retaliação desse espírito maligno.

Quando confrontados com a rejeição dos seus argumentos claros e racionais passam a considerar as formas de vida em questão seres inferiores que não merecem nada abaixo da morte e atacam. Mantendo-se fieis à sua postura lançam-se para os céus e mergulham como aves de rapina sobre os seus adversários atacando com garras e outras armas criadas para esse efeito, ceifam tudo o que estiver no seu campo de visão, sem nunca em qualquer instante mostrar qualquer tipo de emoção. E tal como vieram voltam a desaparecer, silênciosos pelos céus de Farside.

_Nome do líder_ é o antigo Guardião da tribo, o seguidor mais fiel e fanático do Grande Vento segue todas as suas intruções à letra e planeia todos os seus ataques às comunidade Terrenas com uma precisão e assustadora e cumprindo objectivos obscuros para quem os tenta perceber. É um homem magro envolvido por um longo manto branco que vagueia pelo seu corpo como um vento vivo e material.

Quando obrigado a entrar em confronto ele transformar-se em vários ventos, sendo por isso impossível de magoar fisicamente, e sussura conhecimentos ocultos e abismais aos ouvidos dos seus adversários, tornando-os em homens loucos e impotentes para agir ou então nos seus novos seguidores.

15 dados de Pain.

Questionário

Perguntas para os PCs:
Porque é que lutas? (What's been keeping you awake?): O motivo que faz o PC lutar para sobreviver (pode ser por qualquer motivo, não necessariamente épico ou grandioso).

O que é que te está a acontecer agora? (What just happened to you?) - Esta fica igual porque um kicker dá sempre essencial.

Porque é que estás com esta tribo? (What's on the surface?) - Porque é que o PC decidiu juntar-se a esta tribo e luta por ela.

Porque é que não gostas desta tribo? (What lies beneath?) - O que é que nesta tribo o PC não gosta, embora tenha decidido ficar com ela e lutar pela sua sobrevivência existe algo nela que não lhe agrada (tipo serem canibais).

Perguntas para a tribo:
Do que é que sobrevivem? - Método de subsistência da tribo.

Quem são os seus inimigos naturais? - Que adversidades é que a tribo enfrenta todos os dias.

Como funciona a organização da tribo? - Brevemente qual é o sistema de funcionamento religioso/político/social/etc. da tribo.

Qual é o seu objectivo (What's you path?) - Qual é o objectivo final que a tribo está a tentar concretizar. Exemplos: Tornar-se uma Tribo Sedentária, construir uma nação, etc.

Do pouco que tenho visto até agora (especialmente em Mortal Coil), quando os jogadores trabalham em conjunto para criar um universo de jogo onde vão participar (tipo Mortal Coil e PTA) vão sentir-se muito mais agarrados a ele e motivados para jogar, por isso é que acho importante haver uma mecânica de Construção de Tribo, se os jogadores vão estar a lutar pela sua sobrevivência ao longo do jogo é bom que lutem por algo que gostem mesmo.

Sistema

Neste jogo os personagens dos jogadores são os líderes e defensores das tribos Vermilion, o povo que habita quase a totalidade de Farside. Estes Zealots, escolhidos pelos totems que abençoam a tribo com a sua atenção divina vêm-se assim persuadidos a escolherem sacrificar-se pelo bem geral da sua tribo ao transfomarem irreversívelmente o seu corpo com uma substância tecnorgânica chamada Vim, introduzida no seu corpo com recurso à arte de Siphon. Nas novas capacidades do seu corpo e na manutenção do favor dos espíritos totémicos reside a esperança e o crença de que serão eles próprios, os únicos que melhores podem proteger e garantir a sobrevivência do seus entes queridos e irmãos de sangue. 

Os PCs são assim humanos, nativos de Farside e pertencentes às vários tribos dos Vermilion, a quem é três meios de exercer o seu poder sobre o mundo de modo desempenharem a sua exigente e honrosa missão perante o seu povo:

Zeal (equivale a Discipline) - Representa não só o zelo que o Zealot tem nas suas capacidades em defender e proteger a Tribo como  também na justeza e honradez com que o faz. Deste modo ele é efectivamente superior em excelência e convicção ao outros elementos da tribo que desprovidos de uma missão tão digna como esta nunca se vêm impelidos a irem ao limite das suas capacidades humanas mesmo que confrontados com a dura realidade diária da viência diária de Farside, na sua luta constante pela sobrevivência e prosperidade da sua tribo. Caso o Mestre de Jogo precise de quantificar em dados o alcance de acção de um membro da tribo além dos Zealots este deve atribuir entre 1 a 2 dados de Zeal. Ao tornar-se um Zealot este passa automaticamente a possuir 3 dados de Zeal, o que representa a magnância das suas habilidades face aos restantes Vermilion que o rodeiam;

Siphon (equivale a Exaustion) - Representa o conhecimento do Zealot em usar Vim, a substância tecnoorgânica viscosa que ao ser introduzida no corpo deste, lhe permite ter uma vantagem extra sobre qualquer outro membro da tribo ou forasteiros, pois transforma totalmente o seu corpo. Esta substância, cujo uso é chamado de Siphon, consegue adicionar novos orgãos, novos sentidos e até novos usos da energia corporal. Estas habilidades, contudo, não conseguem ultrapassar quer os limites do campo da acção individual do utilizador quer os limites da realidade dura e cruel de Farside, mesmo que estes aparentem ser extraordinários e quase-impossíveis.
Exemplos: Sentidos aumentados, quatro membros superiores, super-força.

Sublimation (equivale e Madness) - Representa um poder místico atribuído ao Zealot  através da ligação que a sua tribo tem com os Primals. as entidade sobrenaturais emanadas da natureza que os rodeia e que o escolheram como seu representante. Não existe qualquer restrição ao que esse poder pode representar, é algo que seria totalmente impossível de concretizar por qualquer humano (mesmo com Siphon) e mergulha de cabeça no reino do inimaginável e incrível.
Exemplos: Transformar areia em fogo, assumir a forma de um verme gigante, transformar-se em névoa, etc.

Coisas Más:
Em DRYH sempre que havia dominância de Pain, Madness ou Exaustion, então algo corria mal durante a resolução do conflito, as coisas apenas correm bem quando a Disciplines dominam. O mesmo vai acontecer aqui com uma pequena modificação, sempre que algo corre mal nunca é directamente ao PC, apenas aos que o rodeiam (outros PCs inclusive).

Pain - Os que estão com o PC saem magoados do conflito.
Exemplo: Embora o PC tenha vencido os Salteadores Lagartos numa troca de tiros, a sua irmã foi atingida e encontra-se à portas da morte.

Siphon - A tecnologia que o PC tem incorporada provoca problemas, isto acontece principalmente porque o Siphon não é uma ciência que foi explorada a fundo por estas tribos sendo ainda bastante imprevisível, contudo quanto maior for a sua utilização mais as suas componentes biotecnológica sse interligam com a do utilizador a um nível subconsciente e originam efeitos mais espectaculares, contudo isto provoca um grande esforço físico no utilizador - representado por Boil - quando o Boil passar o seu valor máximo (6) o utilizador simplesmente não aguenta mais a utilização da tecnologia e "vai abaixo".
Exemplo: Durante a troca de tiros com os Salteadores Lagartos o PC perde o controle do seu laser de mão e acaba por danificar, para além dos adversários, várias caravanas da sua tribo. Com isto ele ganha um dado de Boil permanente.

jrmariano escreveu:

Tudo o que é a manipulação do corpo no Farside é uma subversão da natureza representada pelos Primals, logo o Siphon corrompe a ordem natural... Mas esta dá poder, daí que eventualmente os que se sacrificam pra usar Siphon em prole da tribo são proscritos.... é tudo uma questão de tempo.

No fundo é uma variação óbvia do tema velhinho da Tradição vs Progresso.

Era porreiro desenvolvermos o pormenor irónico dos Primals serem algo mau advindo da tecnologia de uma cultura futurística já enterrrada no passado e a Siphon ser um resultado de uma evolução genética natural. Talvez parasitas biomecânicos? Ou até nanorobots?

Sublimation - Os membros das tribos atribuem (através de orações) poderes místicos aos PCs porque acreditam que eles são os melhores para os utilizar, contudo os PCs ainda são humanos e muitas vezes irão usar os seus poderes de forma descuidada ou errada, quando isso acontece eles perdem a sua capacidade de raciocinar e regem-se pelos princípios básicos de qualquer ser vivo: Lutar ou Fugir, sendo que qualquer uma dessas reacções irá provocar danos na tribo o que acredita nele - representado por Apathy - e que lhe poderá virar as costas por causa disso. Quando a Sublimation é dominante o jogador tem que escolher entre Lutar ou Fugir, podendo fazer esta escolha apenas três vez quando tem que o fazer pela quarta vez ganha um ponto de Apathy e perde um de Zeal, quando atinge três pontos de Apathy ele é expulso da tribo e passa a ser considerado um NPC antagonista.
Exemplo: Durante o combate com os Salteadores Lagarto o PC recorre a dados de Sublimation que têm dominância, o PC escolhe a reacção Fugir e a coberto de um Fogo Sagrado Protector foge do campo de batalha deixando a sua tribo à mercê dos Lagartos que os conseguem repelir apesar da presença do PC.

Tal como em DRYH também pretendo utilizar o Questionário, por forma a facilitar o Flag Framing e orientar o sentido da crónica. Contudo introduzi-lhe algumas alterações, nomeadamente introduzi questões que devem ser respondidas por todos os jogadores sobre a tribo.

Immortal Codex

Muitos de nós conhecem aqui o famoso\infâme Immortal: the Silent War e Immortal: Millenium, conhecidos por terem settings fabulosos e sistemas de deitar mãos à cabeça (e arte ainda pior, mas não vamos por aí).

Como eu descobri quer WitchCraft e Immortal mais ou menos ao mesmo tempo (ah, bons tempos da velha loja do Fernando... melhor loja de RPGs do país...)    não foi muito díficil para mim decidir-me a fazer uma adaptação deste setting para o sistema Unisystem (Rui, desliga o Firefox já, porque não vais gostar do que se segue...), sobretudo porque na altura, os membros da Mailing List de WitchCraft até andavam todos com a mania de adaptar vários settings para Unisystem. Eu propus-me a fazer este (e tive surpreendentemente bastante apoio) e deitei mãos ao trabalho, para fazer house rules de forma a apresentar num unico lugar as muitas regras espalhadas por vários suplementos, bem como criar regras extra para fazer tudo mais interessante.

Infelizmente, acabei por me afastar muito da comunidade de WitchCraft, e durante alguns anos este projecto esteve sentadinho numa disquete, até que o passei para um CD, onde esteve esquecido muitos meses -- até que me lembrei de o meter aqui para as pessoas rirem, chorarem ou simplesmente fugirem a sete pés.

 

O trabalho que se segue é todo todo todo house rules, e deu-me uma trabalheira do catano. Nunca foi playtested, por isso se alguém estiver muito aborrecido, por favor, sinta-se à vontade de o usar e passar-me feedback.

E como eu nunca faço as coisas por menos, até fiz o design e a preparação de uma capa para o Codex (Codex é o termo dado em witchcraft aos suplementos com regras e criaturas para acrescentar ao jogo), tentando manter-me o mais fiel possível ao design de WitchCraft.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Table of Contents



Chapter One: Introduction

Summary of Chapters

Chapter Two: Rules

New Character Concepts
New Character Type
New Associations
New Qualities and Drawbacks
New Skills
New Character Rules
New Combat Rules

Chapter Three: Himsati Immortals

Chapter Four: Perpetual Society

Chapter Five: Metaphysics

Natures
Serenades

Chapter Six: Supernatural

Mantles
Bright Bloods
Makers
Sanguinary
The Progeny
Droves
Abzulim
“Immortal: Millenium” in “Armageddon”

Appendix One

“Company of Wolves”
“Eternal City”

 

Appendix Two
Curses
Glossary
Index



Chapter One: Introduction



Los Angeles Suburbs

5 p.m., Local Time

 

The pain. So hot, searing through me, running like fire through my veins. I scream, this time hearing it, and realizing that I am now awake. His grinning face is still there, floating in front of my pupils, as if I had just been staring at the sun. I feel that familiar tremor jerk my stomach. I hate to vomit, I hate it almost as much as I hate him. Then again, the two are inextricably linked.

 

I shiver in the frigid air of my hiding place as I feel the pain uncoil like a snake and move from my stomach towards my throat. Spasms follow it as the gorge rises into my throat, burning with a white heat. I gag. I retch. I fall on hands and knees, and open my mouth, disgorging a hot yellow stream that hisses as it hits the stone. I start crying, only to be choked off by the next spasm and another gush out of my mouth. I see it glow dimly in the dark, then fade, as the cold breaths on it. As the third tremor comes, I scream in agony, adding more of the hot matter to the cobbled floor. I close my eyes, and focus on the aftershocks in my stomach, calming the aching muscles, taking deep cold breaths. When I am certain that the episode has passed (and this takes me long minutes) I open my eyes and stare at the soiled floor, then wipe my mouth with the back of my hand, spitting frozen droplets onto the floor, and watch the sunlight’s fascination with the stain on the floor, and, as the light creeps over it, the matter gleams with raw metallic beauty.

He’s here, I realize. My enemy is here, his presence calling the tremors out of my body. And he’s close, too. Very close.

I reach for a bowie knife from my jacket and start prying the cooled gold off of the floor, rolling the precious metal into a single tube as it casts handfuls of refracted sunlight into my eyes. How close is he? Does he sense me or has he forgotten after all these years the horrible curse he put on me, to spew gold, to bleed gold, to perspire tiny drops of incorruptible metal, to shed fragile strands of gold wire from my scalp?

Bastard. You were dead! You are not one of us. You were mortal. Mortal.

Standing up at last, I warm my arms with a quick rubbing of my hands. Gold dust sprays from my skin and dances in the morning light like sparks off a fire.

Fire. It’s everywhere. It’s as if someone stole the sun and hurled it into the middle of the courtyard. The screams of terrified horses is mutely heard from their stalls, as the fire jumps like a living thing and starts eating the wood. A Knight in red armour urges his men forward. Swords seem to catch fire as they reflect the conflagration, and shadows jump about in a wild frenzy as the invaders boil through the front gates.

“Kill all the French,” they yell madly.

I look down at the key in my hand. It shines like gold in the firelight.

Gold.

The shower feels so good. The closest thing to a lover I have known in centuries. A lover who caresses my body without violating it. A lover who withdraws gracefully, laughing down the drain, leaving me clean instead of feeling soiled. Gold dust sparkles in the black mildew that has taken over the rotted shower curtain. I shove tattered fabric aside, walk across the freezing floor and stand in front of the mirror. Between my breasts, a single gold coin, suspended on a gold chain. I pick up the chain and swing the coin out of its nesting place. The face of Caligula stares indifferently, stamped into the soft metal thousands of years ago. Time has worn the predatory features of the mad fool, but is unable to corrupt the metal.

Gold is immortal, even as we are. It endures forever, like pieces of the sun.

My lips, glossed in a generous dusting of gold, tremble. All of it is so subtle that humans never even notice. All they know is that I am beautiful. That’s all they care about. But they would be frightened if they really could see what I am. An ancient creature who looks like the daughter of King Midas, trapped somewhere between transformation from little girl to a statue of cold, unyielding—

Gold. I watch it being carried out of the treasury room, past heaps of dead bodies. The French rebels who were unable to die in combat are trussed up like game, hanging from poles. They suffer and stare at me as they lead me, a terrible realization dawning on their faces. One in particular gapes at me, devastated. His hazel eyes are wet from the smoke, or something else. He calls out to me. I stop in front of him. The soldiers leading me sense some sport and release my arms.

“Sir.” I say, haughtily.

“I know you.” He whispers, seeing through the shadows painted on me, the illusion of a plain peasant woman created in strokes of a dark brush. I am delighted that he knows who I really am, and that I have had my revenge against him for throwing me away.

“I am no longer your whore, Sir.” I say.

“They don’t know what you are!” He shouts. He looks over to the soldiers. “She’s a witch! An Immortal witch! She’ll lead you to ruin… as she did lead us. ”

The soldiers laugh and take my arms again. One of them strikes him across the face with a fist. Another turns to his comrade.

“This is the best Knight in the world?” he asks, mockingly.

My former lover’s mouth tightens, as he ignores the jibe, then draws up a smile.

“You are always, eternally, a whore.” He laughs. “A whore of shadows.”

Rage! Churning like melted metal in a cauldron. I slap him. The soldiers laugh at the both of us, and then restrain me. They were strong, these King’s Men. I struggle and am carried away from a man whose laughter is climbing the stairs of madness. Madness has always been his companion--madness and tormenting lust for a woman he can never have.

“Make way for the King.” a man yells. I cease struggling and feel a chill.

He had arrived at last. I see his armour gleam dully in the bonfires where the dead were being burned. His spirit is so bright it blazes before my Immortal eyes, leaping about like sparks off a forge. He pulls up short and regards me. I smile and bow in respect. It’s a false respect, but I want my money. Money pays mercenaries, and I will need many of them to challenge my half-brother and his mystic mentor. I want my gold!



Introduction

Welcome to the world of WitchCraft. This world is a place filled with dark mysteries and frightening secrets, which most people ignore, although fearsome battles and deadly dramas unfold right under their very noses. Many fight the horrors that lurk in the shadows in an attempt to save mankind from a terrible fate – even though some of those saviours are no longer human themselves. However, even most of them are unaware that the Enemy hides in the subconscious of those they are trying to protect.

As the Time of Reckoning draws near, so does the awakening of an ancient evil that sleeps in the nightmares of men. And since there were very few who know of it or how to stop it, there was no other chance for the gods of old but to awaken from their sleep of millennia and walk the battlefields of Earth once again to wage war on their most hated enemy, the Mad God known as the Sanguinary. The Lords and Ladies of myth and legend have reawakened again, in bodies of flesh and blood to fight for mankind, who holds the key to ultimate power: human faith. For that, the Immortal Gods will stop at nothing – not even at their mortal bodies’ death – to defeat the Sanguinary once and for all, and regain absolute freedom from their unwilling progenitor. However, the bodiless Mad God lurks in the minds and thoughts of the very ones who the Immortals desire – and nothing short of genocide would be enough to drive It out into the open. However, to do so, would also mean death for the Immortals, for they still depend in mankind’s belief – even if nowadays they are worshiped not as Gods, but as movie stars, business men, or geniuses.

This Codex is based on the “Immortal: Millennium RPG”, and details everything concerning the Himsati Immortals: from their society and organization to their powers and weaknesses, including their history, their enemies and allies, as well as their very own features, such as their unique martial arts, new Character Concepts, new Qualities and Drawbacks.

The information contained here will allow Chroniclers not only to include Himsati Immortals in their campaigns both as PCs and NPCs, but also to play “Immortal: Millennium RPG” with the Unisystem™ as a stand-alone game, independent from the world of Witchcraft.

Summary of Chapters

Chapter One: Introduction contains these introductory remarks.

Chapter Two: Rules refers the features of the new Character Type – the Himsati Immortal, and a new Association – the Perpetual Society, as well as new Skills, Character Concepts Qualities and Drawbacks.

Chapter Three: Himsati Immortals provides all the necessary information to create and play a Himsati Immortal.

Chapter Four: Perpetual Society describes the largest of Immortal organizations – the Perpetual Society – as well as its history, secrets and goals.

Chapter Five: Metaphysics presents the earth-shattering powers of the Immortals – the Serenades – and the price an Immortal might pay for altering reality with – literally – a song. It details as well the powers inherent to each Himsati – the Natures.

Chapter Six: Supernatural brings new dangers to the unsuspecting world, in the form of the Sanguinary and Its minions, as well as unexpected allies such as the Makers, humans able of warping reality with but a thought, and the Bright Bloods, wielders of true Faith, whose only lifepath stretches over many reincarnations. Plus the Sanguinary's firstborn, the Abzulim, the mighty dragons of old and, whose loyalties no-one but themselves know where will lie.

Appendix 1 contains the introductory adventure “Company of Wolves”, indicated to bring players to the world of “Immortal: Millennium”, as well as the large “Eternal City” adventure, originally drawn from the “Immortal: Millennium Book 2 – the War Book”, but fully adapted to the Unisystem™.

Appendix 2 contains a glossary concerning the jargon of the Himsati immortals, several useful reference charts, an example list of curses, a complete index, as well as the Himsati Immortal character sheet.

Conventions

Text Conventions

Like in other WitchCraft supplements, there are several types of text to designated different functions.

This type of text is the standard text, and it comprises most of the supplement.

This is the type used for fiction, usually showing up between chapters. Opposed to other WitchCraft supplements, instead of small tales, the fiction will be a full fledged tale, called “Gold”, that will last for the entire book and freely adapted from the Immortal: Millennium Book Two.

Chapter 2 - Rules

Chapter Two: Rules


Gold leaves spiral to the ground as I walk out of my sanctuary, disoriented. A car horn yells as I stop in the middle of the street, get my bearings and continue walking. The sun is feeble now, overcome with clouds as evening speeds toward Los Angeles like an angel. The smoky scent of autumn reeks in the chilly air as I wrap my scarf around the collar that traps my throat. Imbedded in its metal is my vox, my magic voice disembodied. Sometimes I long to have a mortal whose spirit is strong enough to unlock my potential. I could alter the face of the world if I could find such a man.

Or woman.

Or child.

The sun is feeble now, overcome with clouds as evening speeds toward Los Angeles like an angel. The smoky scent of autumn reeks in the chilly air as I wrap a scarf around my throat. Small tremors in my stomach. I feel terrified that the gold maybe is coming up again, but it is just a stirring in the air of his presence. He was mortal and that was half a millennium ago. He must be dead.

He must be!

And I remember him, a man who caused such sorrow to me, hiding lies behind eyes made of liquid…

Gold…. is important to you, isn’t it, Traitor?” The King asks from on top of his dark horse. Its eyes are also black, black polished stones plugging sockets in its skull. I get the sensation that it's more than what it seems. That it, like its rider, studies me. I feel an urge to pluck the black stones out and see what supernatural creature comes spilling out.

Traitor. The word pricks me. I ignore it. “My lord, I have fulfilled your wish. The castle is yours. The rebels yours. I give them to you and ask only to continue serving you.”

He laughs, throwing his head back. The horse is not startled by his outburst. It just watches. “You remove potential allies from the High King and gain a lot of money to pay a mercenary army against him,” the king says. “You have done far more for yourself than for me, and I know it. Perhaps one day, after his defeat, you will think to challenge me.”

I really hate this worm of a Man. All that power and no nobility. Looking at him, I feel only contempt.

He is dwarfed by his own armor, like a child dreaming to one day be a knight. I smile as the thought occurs to me. “I would never challenge you, my lord.” I declare. My eyes flick a glance at a large bag sagging from the saddle of his young squire. I whisper to the shadows inside that bag to identify its contents, and they tell me it gleams.

“Sensuous little beast,” he laughs. “My blood tells me that is not the case. Still, you will have your reward. I am a man of my word, even to traitors. You will have all the gold…

Introduction

This chapter will add new information to both the world of WitchCraft as will give you enough background to run an “Immortal: Millennium” with the Unisystem™.



New Character Concepts

Although an Immortals may have any Concept, these new Character Concepts can give a particularly depth to a Character. On the other hand, these Concepts can be easily adapted to serve for any denizen of the world of WitchCraft.

Eternal Hero

There is no better use of your powers than heroism. It is your duty to help the oppressed, to do good deeds, to bring hope to the world where it’s in short supply. Heroes have their dark sides as well, usually a physical or psychic would take sometime in the past that cannot be healed.

Defining Questions: What made you want to protect people? Did someone you loved die because of your inability to protect him/her? Did you wish to emulate someone you admired or you act out of a sense of duty? What is your great flaw? Does it have to do with a failed mission?

Qualities and Drawbacks: You are most than likely Honourable, and most probably Humourless,

since your sense of duty takes quite a toll out of you. Some Heroes show Emotional Problems quite often, whereas Nerves of Steel and Hard to Kill are not uncommon.

Professions: If you are not working for the Perpetual Society itself, than you are most likely than not working in functions that imply protecting something or someone, such as police officer, bodyguard or even teacher.

Legend

You’re the best of the best in your area of expertise, whether it is fencing or lovemaking (or both). Your lives have been spent honing your form and technique, discovering plateaus of mastery unimaginable by mere mortals. Of course, there’s rarely just one Immortal holding the title: Do you have what it takes to hold or retake your legendary status?

Defining Questions: What is your passion and why did you bring yourself to commit to it in such a way? What lengths have you went in order to improve yourself? What lengths are you capable of going to reach the perfection that you seek?

Qualities and Drawbacks: Your Qualities and Drawbacks vary, depending on your chosen area of expertise – a swordsmaster will probably have Fast Reaction Time and possibly Situational Awareness, while Obsession is a common Drawback to all Legends.

Professions: Obviously, you seek to improve yourself further, and that reflects in your choice of profession – an adept chess player will most probably try to find his place in professional championships, whereas a music virtuoso will (at least try to) make his living by playing in a group that reflects his choice of music – be it an orchestra or a heavy metal band.

Martyr

You must suffer, perhaps even die, so that others may live. There is no greater sacrifice that your own life. Your immortality itself may be a sort of curse, keeping you from truly giving your life over to your cause. What cause is worth your true and final death?

Defining Questions: Why have you decided to commit yourself in such a way? Do you do it for selflessness or for having discovered that only the ultimate sacrifice will be enough to destroy the enemy? Is everyone included in your sacrifice, or just a small group of people (maybe your loved ones) will benefit from it? Do you actually have a deathwish, or are you simply certain of what you must do?

Qualities and Drawbacks: Martyrs are often Reckless – although they seem to be so more than they really are. Their desire for self-sacrifice – and the need for it – makes them able to look Death in the face and not shudder, so it is also usual for them to have Nerves of Steel. Since many Martyrs sacrifice their personal lives (not necessarily their own lives), it’s not uncommon for them to have several types of Emotional Problems.

Professions: This is one of the few Character Concepts that can be found in nearly every job and position, although a few ones – such as nurses, doctors or even missionaries – demand a little more. Martyrs often seek such professions since it shows first hand that their sacrifice will save lives and souls.

Powerbroker

The time has come for you to resume your rightful place at the head of humanity’s table. Immortals are practically required to use their experience and power to save humanity from itself, to help it carve new kingdoms and save itself from the Sanguinary. And that’s what you will do.

Defining Questions: Why do you wish to rule mankind? Do you do so because you realized that they need your help, and that they will soon perish if you are not there to guide them, or do you secretly yearn for the days where you were worshipped like the god you were… and still are? Do you see mankind in a contemptuous manner, or as the innocent you must protect? Are you a defender or a tyrant?

Qualities and Drawbacks: Wealth, Social Level, Contacts and Influence are a Powerbroker’s best weapons, while one or two major Adversaries often come with it. Many Powerbrokers also have some mild Delusions, or are Cruel or Covetous to some degree.

Professions: Powerbrokers can be easily found in professions that relate with control of mankind – if they cannot do it as gods, at least they’ll do it as lawyers, bankers, or even some discreet places in government.

Romantic

As benefits the great Immortals, you are guided by a vision. You vision may sow you the path to a better world, a vision of the Age of Myth returned in the modern world, or the key to destroying the Sanguinary once and for all. You don’t require followers, but they’re attracted to you anyway, as Romantics lea by the force of their vision and their charisma.

Defining Questions: What is the dream that guides you? For how long have you been following your vision and for how long do you think you will you manage to follow suit? And what of your followers? Do they mean anything to you? Are they just an encumbrance, or do they seem to be the proof that your vision is more than a beautiful dream?

Qualities and Drawbacks: A Romantic can have nearly any Quality and Drawback. Charisma is extremely common, however.

Professions: In the end, it doesn’t really matter, does it? As long as you still can pursuit your vision, it affects you in no way. If it helps to further your goals, however, you’ll dedicate yourself to it body and soul.

 

New Character Type

The following new character type should be added to the ones existing already in the world of WitchCraft, unless you are playing a Unisystem™ “Immortal” campaign, where they are the only and main characters. Both character sheets and charts referring to all the generation points of this character type are included in Appendix 2.

The Himsati Immortals

“We are immortal.
We were born naked but for the halo that burns beneath our skin, the cloak of eternity itself.
We have surpassed all other creatures in this mortal world with our beauty and savagery and power.
We have eaten at the table of every war, every conflict of weapon and word.
We burnish our hearts with the cold gleam of ancient furies or melt them in an alembic of hot lust.
And the final war is coming like a storm, winds riding with our laughter, with our rage, with our songs.
Some voices should have eternity only in silence.
Some beasts should never have drawn breath.
Some words should have stayed buried forever.”

-- Jonathon of Masada, Scribe

“Don’t dazzle me with your arrogance and strength, or the power you suppose you possess. I am the creature you always dreamt of being but were afraid to dare.”

-- Shade, Scourge of the Court of Shadows

Like Vampyres, Ghosts, Phantasms or the Rentless Dead, Himsati Immortals began their lives as humans. However, at some point in their existence they were possessed by a crystallized shard of the Mad God known as the Sanguinary, which crashed into our planet millions of years ago. This shard, both a blessing and a curse, gives them suprahuman abilities, capacities and powers – there is no limit for an Immortal – literally. The mightiest among them would be able of wrestling a Mad God hand-to-hand… and, very possibly, winning – there is a reason why in ancient times mankind called them Gods. For centuries, they lived with the worship of mankind, altering themselves to fulfil their worshipers’ beliefs – as they evolved from elemental and animal gods to the anthropomorphic deities. With the loss of belief and the destruction of the Old Gods, they abandoned the Great Cycle seeking for refuge in reincarnation. But in their very souls, the beasts and elements they once were still wait to break free.

In a regular WitchCraft campaign this character type would fit better in a Legendary game (see Witchcraft, p. 293), but the character creation has been set so that it does not unbalance your Heroic game – no more than a Rentless Dead or a Vampyre, that is.

 

New Association

In this book, only a new association shall be described – the Perpetual Society, the official and most powerful organization of Himsati Immortals. Although there are some Solitary Himsati Immortals, there are not enough to actually consider them a new association.

More information on the Perpetual Society is on Chapter Four: Perpetual Society, which enables both players and Chroniclers to bring it into their Chronicles.

 

Perpetual Society

“Minds black with blind hate,
Souls running with rage,
We’re animals trapped
In the depths of our cage.
When the sun is too high
And the moon is too cold,
Our shadows converse
With the things that are old.”

-- Graffiti in Ninevah 1991, unknown

"Are we not glorious creatures? WAR has made us brutal, DESIRE has made us weak. TECHNOLOGY has made us dependant, LIFE has made us hungry. FATE has doomed us to despair and DREAMS have filled us with terror. DEATH has made us envious and SECRETS have made us untrustworthy. Yet the Callings still show us that, despite all this, we can still be heroes."

-- Blood, Court of War

Description: The Society is almost entirely comprised of Himsati Immortals, the hosts of the shards of the Sanguinary, and whose powers made them been seen as Gods by mankind. This Society’s prime directive is hiding its presence – firstly from the mortals, in whose subconscious lies the Sanguinary, and secondly from the Sanguinary’s minions, who hunt them in an effort to reassemble and bring forth their master once again. However, there is also a place here for gifted humans, be they Bright Blooded, Makers or simply lovers or companions.

Many of the Himsati, however, tend to start feel bored with their unending life, so they undergo the Lethe ritual, which enables them to seal their memories up and begin life anew.


Perpetuals come from all walks of life, and you can find nearly everything sitting at the meetings held by the Society – fear brought them together, and now keeps them together. Despite the infighting and the political manoeuvring, they tend to aid one another. This is especially true for the younger Immortals – those recently awakened from Lethe: in a hostile world, where many are far older, and the Enemy is too powerful to imagine, the only thing that can help them is the strength that lies in numbers.

Although not all Immortals are actually members of the Society, seldom are those who willingly give up membership – those who do are most often than not, powerful elders. Any stray newborn is quickly brought into the fold and instructed – nonetheless, it is possible (although unlikely) for an Immortal to live and die thinking himself as being human – and once again the Great Wheel will spin and the Immortal will be reborn again and again until something awakes the power within him.

The Society is divided into nine Courts (Death, Desire, Dreams, Fate, Life, Making, Secrets, Shadows and War), which deal with particular aspects of both human and Immortal society. Within each Court there are twelve Callings (Chameleon, Emissary, Empath, Explorer, Guardian, Mentor, Merchant, Profiler, Scourge, Slayer, Tactician, Visionary), which represent the vocation and function from each Immortal within his Court.

Attributes: There were times when worshippers would select the best possible vessel for their God to inhabit, but those days are long gone, between vessels destroyed in combat and emergency possessions of new bodies. Nowadays, most vessels are normal humans, with attribute points distributed equally, therefore, any combination is likely. Their Himsati (i.e. Primordial Form) also grants them extra Attribute points (see p. xx).

Qualities and Drawbacks: Almost all members must have the Himsati Immortal Quality, for obvious reasons, but not forcefully, since exceptional humans, or even other long-lived creatures have been accepted into the Society at times. Should the Chronicler allow older beings (by default, the playing Himsati Immortals begin as having recently awoken from Lethe) several levels of Age are allowed, as well as high levels of Wealth, Influence and Status (see Abomination Codex, p. 23, for further ruling on Influence). Many have amassed more than a few Adversaries and Delusions throughout the centuries as well.

Skills: Any combination is possible, although usually the Immortal tends to feel the influence of his Avatar(s) – an Immortal who is the incarnation of Mars, the Greek God of War, will likely feel attracted to combat-related skills, whereas the modern representative of Merlin, in all likelihood, will rely much more on his scholarly side.

Metaphysics: Himsati Immortal Society members cannot have any of the normal Gifted powers, but they have instead their own array of unique powers (which includes Natures and Serenades – see p. xx). The non-Immortal can have any power.

Special Abilities: Whenever an Immortal is brought to the Society his Calling is determined at once. Depending on it, he will receive extensive training, which translates as a +3 bonus on the three “main” skills of his Calling. A beginning Solitaire Immortal (which includes most characters in a Unisystem “Immortal: Millennium” game) obviously does not have access to these bonus points, at least not until he has been properly trained by the Perpetual Society. Furthermore, a character’s Court also grants several bonuses (for, example a character of the Court of Death is at +1 in all tests made in places related deeply to death, such as graveyards, cemeteries, the room where a violent murder occurred, etc). Refer to p. xx for complete information on both Callings and Courts.

Common Professions: The younger Perpetuals can have any profession, and even they tend to be found in the jobs they are most skilled for, it is not uncommon to find them, like normal humans, stuck in jobs they don’t like. However, most of the time, the Society finds a way to place them where they can be useful or, at least, content. The elders either don’t need a job, or place themselves as spies, undercover agents, or in positions of control. This has often nearly brought them toe-to-toe with both the Combine and the Knights Templar.

Roleplaying the Perpetual: You are one of two things: either you’re a poor bastard who suddenly realized you’re the reincarnation of some god, mythical figure or beast, or you’re a warrior of a thousand battles and a hundred wars, who has been there and done that, over and over and over again. In either case, the Society is your home. They care for their own, and in these nights when the Sanguinary grows stronger, either you all stand together or you’ll fall into its clutches.

If you are too young to have even seen a century pass, you are scared. Yes, scared. Scared of the things out there – they can be anywhere, even behind the smile of your spouse, child or friends. And if they find you – they’ll get you. You might be innocent, and you might know very little of secrets, political ties, schemes hidden in shadows, but you’ve learned one thing: you may be immortal but you are not indestructible – and there are fates far, far worse than death. In the Society you can find a place to rest, to hide from the horrors at large. You can find people that listen to you, that teach you how to be strong enough to face the oncoming war.

If you stand as a witness of time, then you are tired. Years and centuries have gone by and you have become walking, living anachronism. You feel out of place, out of time. However, the battle still rages on, and they still keep coming. You cannot yield to the luxury of resting, of stopping for breath. This is more than a war for your own survival: this is a war for the survival of the entire planet – the entire reality, even. And the Society exists to organize the effort to bring the Sanguinary down. It is your last chance. It is your only chance. For this is a war you cannot afford to lose.

New Qualities and Drawbacks

Himsati Immortal

15-point Supernatural Quality

You are effectively immortal, and even if your body dies, you can reincorporate yourself in another. Players who wish to be Himsati Immortals must choose the Gifted Character Type, and then purchase this Quality. The Himsati Immortal Quality grants certain powers that are included in the cost of the Quality, as well as access to others that must be purchased separately. Further information on Himsati Immortals can be found on pp. xx-xx.

 

New Skills

Brainwashing (Special)

Although this skill seems to simply refer to the use of propaganda and conditioning, it can do much more than that. Although it is a long and morose process, it enables an Immortal to completely purge a human from the Sanguinary’s subconscious influence. For those Immortals who wish to protect their loved ones, and still keep them close, this skill is the ultimate protection – although never one hundred percent foolproof, it still give them enough assurance – and many are willing to take that risk, as many Immortals feel that if they cut all ties with the mortal world they’ll eventually become monsters themselves, or go insane. Neither perspective is an option.

Dreaming (Special)

This is an unusual skill, for it enables not only to interpreter dreams, but also to interfere with them, which make it a very dangerous skill as well. Most mystics and members of the Court of Dreaming have it, but very few are actually allowed to use it in someone else than oneself – for this skill allows to watch, participate and even alter dreams of someone else – but with the Sanguinary roaming free in the subconscious of mankind that is quite a risk to take. When used on oneself, it not only allows full control of the dreams, but it also to enter a state of meditation which ensures total rest (on a Constitution + Dreaming test double the recovered Endurance Points per each success level).

Myth and Legend (Immortals)

The knowledge included in this skill regards all the lore referring to Himsati Immortals, their history, enemies, tales, and so on. However, the higher the rank in this skill, the more the Immortal knows about the truth of certain events in the Immortal lore.

Shian-Rhi (Special)

This new Combat skill is in fact the martial art developed by the Himsati Immortals, which takes full advantage of their shape-shifting ability. For that reason, it has been listed as a Skill apart from the normal Martial Arts Skill. Shian-Rhi cannot be learned without the teachings of a master, and is only accessible to those capable of changing forms (rumour has it that Ferals can learn it, should they find a willing teacher) – but very few people outside Himsati society are taught. For more information on Shian-Rhi.

Strategy

This Skill includes both the academic and the practical side of strategy. Someone enough versed in it can effectively lead armies into battle, while a young dabbler is a rather good Wargames or Miniature Games player. With this skill, a Character can improve his defences or co-ordinate an attack with total effectiveness. Strategy is usually used with Intelligence, but also with Perception. For instances, when the Main Cast is being surrounded by advancing zombies, the Chronicler can make a hidden Strategy test – then inform the players with the skill what is the best way out, and what steps should they take in order to escape.

New Character Rules

In this section, new rules will be included to allow an increased range of playing possibilities. Obviously, the Chronicler has the last saying about the use or not of such ruling. The following rules are optional, of course, and while some may find it lends depth to the game, others might see it as a hindrance.

Courage

The world of WitchCraft is a dark, dangerous one, and if the average citizen saw the briefest glimpse of what lies behind the curtain, he would be driven surely mad. Or maybe not… Contrarily to what one might think at first, the human spirit is still a force to be reckoned with, even in a world populated by the creatures of the dark. That is proved by the Mundanes who take their place within the ranks of the several Associations: even without powers, they fight in the same battle as the Gifted and the Supernatural do. If not with fire and claw, at least, in their own special way. And when you don’t have magic to rely on, you must rely on yourself.

Using Courage

The trait “Courage” rates the strength of belief, the will to go further than your capabilities, to excel against all odds. All characters begin with a permanent Courage rating, which, throughout the game, can go below but never above that initial rating, unless the Chronicler allows that permanent rating to increase – (as a reward for stopping a Mad God from manifesting in our world, or something truly earth shattering). Any Cast Member with Courage may spend as many points as he wants (as long as he has points to spend) to give a +3 bonus to any one test, per Courage point spent. Courage points can be used to overcome fear or shock as well.

Regaining Courage

The human spirit burns bright but, unfortunately, not very long. Recovering lost Courage points is a morose and long process. As a norm, the Chronicler should allow the characters to recover all their Courage points at the end of each story – not game session. Of course, if the next story occurs the morning after the previous story, then the Chronicler should only let them recover one or two Courage points, if any at all. If the story unfolds throughout a long period of time – such as several weeks or a couple of months – the Chronicler might allow the Cast to recover 1 Courage Point per week (whether in game or downtime) if nothing too stressful happens. Recovering spent Courage points can be given as a reward as well, if the character used them in a selfless action – for instances, to push a friend out of harm’s way – or after heroic deeds.

Beginning Courage

As described above, the trait “Courage” is more closely related to Mundanes than to Supernatural types. Gifted tend to rely a little too much on their magic, and therefore have a slightly lower rating. Likewise, even those who where once fully human (such as Vampyres and some Ferals) lost someof its potency along with their loss of humanity. So, the starting scores for Courage are as follows:

Character Type Courage Rating

Unaware Mundane 2
Aware Mundane 4
Lesser Gifted 4
Gifted 3
Inhumans 3

New Combat Rules

For players who desire extended ruling on combat of every kind, from martial arts styles to hollow-point bullet damage, they should refer to the Mystery Codex, which lists increased rules for those in the WitchCraft core-book. The rules included here will regard solely the Himsati Immortals martial art: the Shian-Rhi.

New Martial Art – Shian-Rhi

Being creatures with a human body, but with a wide array of unsuspected abilities thanks to their true form, it did not take long for Immortals to realize that they could use them to their advantage in combat. That was the starting point for the development of the combat technique that would come to be known as “Shian-Rhi”. However, and more than just more than just being a way of trashing your enemies more effectively, it soon became something deeper, more philosophical, like most martial arts. The Shian-Rhi adepts defended (and still defend) that their Himsati form, albeit part of themselves, should be constantly kept in check, as a bestial, less evolved side: “Use it, do not let it use you”, they claimed. They were soon proved right when several Immortals were possessed by the Sanguinary, during their most vulnerable time: while trying to return to their human forms.

Thus, what they seek is a balance between Beast and Vox, Instinct and Mind. For that reason learning Shian-Rhi is a long, hard process and few are those who can claim to be a master. All Shian-Rhi adepts must spend at least a few minutes in meditation each night - that is the edge that allows them to keep the lure of the beast at bay when the need arises.

Combat advantages aside, Shian-Rhi brings a big benefit to Immortals – the Shian-Rhi Skill rating works as a bonus in any test made by an Immortal to attempt to resume his human form (for more on Shapeshifting, see p. xx). The rare Ferals who actually come to learn this art may use this same bonus to resist unwilling transformations, as well.

Shian-Rhi: This is an art developed by the Himsati Immortals, and although it has many usual manoeuvres, such as kicking and punching, its full potential is only revealed when used together with the Immortals’ shapeshifting abilities.

Any student is instructed first on basic combat moves as well as self-control and discipline. Later, they are introduced to the use of the Natures and their Himsati forms in combat. To reflect this slow apprenticeship and concern with self-control of one’s Himsati form, an Immortal will only ascend to the next skill level of Shian-Rhi when he has attained at least the same level in all of the following skills: Trance, Martial Arts or Brawl and Dodge, besides paying for the normal skill cost – for example, if an Immortal wants to increase his Shian-Rhi skill from 1 to 2, he must first have Trance 2, Martial Arts/Brawl 2 and Dodge 2 before being allowed to do so. This works both during Character Creation and later, with Experience Points expenditure. Memory Points may be used to buy Shian-Rhi, if the requested skills levels are fulfilled.

Shian-Rhi was developed by Immortals with animal Himsatis, and in this art they are the most proficient of all, since for other kind of Himsatis the art needs to be slightly adapted – although that doesn’t make it less effective.

Opposite to most Martial Arts, Shian-Rhi Moves are seldomly based in the Art itself alone – that is the reason why all adepts are skilled in other combat methods as well – therefore, both the Basic and the Special moves have no rating. However, after the first level (where both Basic Moves are received for free), the adept can only choose one single Special Move per Shian-Rhi level. A Shian-Rhi master is able of combining several moves to create a truly devastating effect.

Basic Moves: Quick Change, Full Defence Technique

Special Moves: Change Strike, Escape Strike, Rollaway, Uncoiling Snake

Shian-Rhi: Combat Moves

Change Strike: The purpose of this move is to trick the opponent into hitting a specific part of the body – usually the head – then shrinking it (or making it intangible) out of harm’s way by fully shapeshifting (with the Quick Change move). This move will give the Immortal a +3 bonus to a Dexterity + Dodge Test to avoid the opponent’s attack. If he succeeds in avoiding the blow, then he’ll be able of making a counterattack with a +5 bonus (with an additional +1 bonus per each Success Level in the Dexterity + Dodge task).

Escape Strike: This move is used against grapples, pinches, locks, bear hugs, etc., by changing into a smaller form (or larger, depending on the case) through a full shapeshift. However, in order to work, it must be used in the same turn the Immortal was immobilized.

Full Defence Technique: Although their aim is to use the beast within to their favour, the Shian-Rhi adepts know better than to forget the need for instinct. When this move is used, the Immortal can sense and know from where danger will come from, even if he does not see it. For one turn and by spending 5 Essence points, the Immortal will be able of dodging, blocking or parrying the attacks of all opponents without incurring in the usual Multiple Actions penalties.

Rollaway: When the Immortal falls to the ground, he can use this move to fully shapeshift and roll to his feet back again, without having to spend a turn getting up. No tasks are made, it only requires the spending of the usual 3 Essence points. This move will not work, however, if the Immortal was already fully shapeshifted.

Quick Change: The Shian-Rhi adepts are fearsome fighters in action, blurring in and out of their Himsati amidst the fighting moves: whereas to most Immortals changing in and out of their primal forms can be a difficult and sometimes slow process, the Shian-Rhi adepts have surpassed that (although they are still subject to the same tests when leaving Himsati form). Instead of needing to spend an action to activate natures or to undergo a full shapeshift, an Immortal can simply spend 3 Essence points to full shapeshift, in order to change automatically (which means he will still have all his actions this turn). The same applies when reverting back to human form, although the Immortal will have to make the usual test as well – with the bonus given by his Shian-Rhi rating, of course. This technique is often used together with other moves, and can be used as often as desired (as long as there is enough Essence).

Uncoiling Snake: This is the ultimate surprise attack move: by spending 2 Essence points and simulating a normal attack (such as a punch or jab), the Immortal can activate at the last moment an adequate Nature (usually “Natural Weaponry” or “Charge”), which allows him to considerably increase the damage made to the unsuspecting target. Protective Natures, such as “Armour” (or even by completely shapeshifting in case of ethereal elementals), can be used in a similar manner as well, by allowing the Immortal to suddenly sustain much more damage than he would in his human form.

Chapter 3 - Himsati Immortals

Chapter Three: Himsati Immortals

“ …I promised you,” Seriade says, sitting across the café table from me, taking a sip of espresso. I close my eyes and wipe the image of the past off my retina with a sweep of lashes.

“You didn’t hear a word I said, did you?” she asks, peering over the glass.

“I’m sorry.”

“The man is dead, sister. I killed him as I promised you. I found a witch to wish his stomach full of worms and sent 20 ravens to pluck them all out.” Don’t you remember our gathering in Castle Chariot when I presented his head?”

I nod, looking down at my fingernails. Thin wafers of yellow metal are flaking off, revealing shiny metal below.

“I think it’s the millennium thing,” she says, leaning back and blinking her dark raven eyes. “The background ambiance of human faith is getting stronger, despite the efforts of the scientific community. There’s a growing concern that humanity is reaching a technological stall, that they are reverting back to superstition.”

“Their lives are empty,” I say.

“That’s because they live apart from our kind,” Seriade says with a crisp gesture of her slender hands. “Mortals need to worship us in order to be free and know true joy.”

“You’re preaching to the choir,” I remark.

“Look.” Seriade puts down the cup and taps the checkered tablecloth for emphasis. “This is exactly why we need to take back the world from them. Annihilate the Sanguinary in those who have no Bright Blood and exorcise the ancient bastard out of the rest. The Age of Myth was a great time to live. I remember it. Everybody was happy. Us, them, the earth itself. Magic flowed everywhere. You know what I mean.” She leans forward. “Your problem is you want the power, you want to be a god again, but you don’t want to work for it. You want the universe to somehow set things to right.”

I cast her a wry look, staring down at a plate of uneaten, cold food. Mortals are sitting all around us, talking, laughing. But if you look around them, at the shadows formed from the refuse of their thoughts, you hear only anger, greed, envy, lust and all the rest of these sins. They crunch and scatter like dead leaves when you walk through them.

“Humans are liars.” I say, pushing the plate away.

“Darling, we’re all liars,” Seriade laughs. She cleans her holographic sunglasses, then catches sight of her watch and spits half her mouthful of coffee back into the cup. “I have GOT to run. I want to pierce the mystery of who this Phoenix really is. He or she is a very illusive character.”

I nod, and look up at the clear October sky. She departs so subtly that her shadow lingers for moments, smiling at me, before it flies after. I sigh, look up at the harvest moon sinking through, like a gold…

 

 

Introduction

This chapter will describe in deep detail the new Character Type of the Himsati Immortals, the risen gods and goddesses of legend. The information presented here allows this Type to be used in any chronicle, although (like any inhuman) it can unbalance a group of Cast Members – especially if the Chronicler is running a Pre-Heroic game (see WitchCraft, p. 292).

Himsati Immortals

There was a time when gods walked among mankind, took part of their folly and fought alongside them in the battlefields. A time of legend and myth, which spawned hundreds of mythologies and tales, which lasted for centuries and millennia. Men have since long forgot that time, as they also forgot that before their gods were human, they had been elemental and pure: the fire, the water, the beasts, all these had been their gods. And that the gods changed and evolved to better accommodate their worshippers, for there is nothing as desirable and addictive as the adoration of the mortal. However, these gods still walk among us – and still keep the powers of old: the lightning still beckons their call, the winds still are their mounts and weapons, and the earth still shudders when their rage is freed. Millennia ago, these gods were plants, beasts and elements that assimilated a piece of the Mad God Sanguinary, who crashed into our world and shattered into a thousand shards. These shards – called the Vox – are the centre of power of a Himsati Immortal – not only grants him immortality, but it also allows him to tune in with reality and change it to his whim. Mortal called this power Magic. Immortal call it Serenades, and it’s the ultimate weapon against the Sanguinary, who still fights to gather Its pieces and rise once again to take this reality for Itself.

 

Being a Himsati Immortal

An Immortal is created when a human is invaded by one of the gemlike shards of the Sanguinary’s shattered body. The shard always enters a wound, liquefying on contact with blood. Inside, it lodges in the throat, becoming a reed-like organ very similar to a vocal chord, called a "Vox." This new organ interfaces with the brain and the nervous system in order to process all sensory data from the host.

The word “Himsati” means “the form that kills” in Sanskrit. This expression refers to the original form of an Immortal: when the Shards of the Sanguinary rained all over the Earth, many of them infected all manner of creatures – the First Form of a shard will forever be contained in its Essence matrix, for when a shard takes a host for the first time it morphs into the Vox, the form under which it will exist until it is finally reunited to form the Sanguinary’s body once again – which, if depends on the Himsati, it will be later rather than sooner. Rumours say that Shards in the pure form still exist, but their whereabouts is unknown.

Outside the Immortal society, very few scholars have gathered enough information on the Himsati to actually draw any conclusions about them – the Lodge of the Undying and the Rosicrusians are the most likely to know something, especially since the few Himsati Immortals who join any other Covenant than the Perpetual Society are found mostly in these two groups – except when they are infiltrated, of course. Obviously, Himsati are drawn to the Gifted – for these are the only humans who the Immortal know that are not harbouring the Sanguinary in their minds, since their powers makes them immune to the Mad God’s consciousness – unless they invite It willingly – and their hatred for any Mad God makes them valuable allies. They tolerate other Supernaturals, but, alas, Immortals are irresistibly and utterly attracted to mankind – their auras burn brightly and their faith is one of the few things that can humble even the most powerful of the Himsati.

Immortality is a heavy burden, and ennui a constant companion, so it is not surprising that many Himsati undergo willingly the forbidden ritual of Lethe – where one suppresses temporarily all its memories,and restarts life anew as a mortal. In the last few centuries, for unknown reasons, dozens of Immortals entered Lethe – and many of them still are, for should an Immortal live a quiet, uneventful life nothing will make him remember his glorious past, except some strange, distantdreams. His body will simply expire of old age, and the Vox will create a new one, and the cycle will begin anew. Immortality will only kick in when the Himsati becomes self-aware– with all the problems that it will bring. For that reason, Immortals come from all walks of life – some may display a knack for doing whatever their Avatars – their former personalities – did, but one is as likely to find a former warrior working as martial arts instructor, as it is as a bureaucrat (although he’ll most probably feel unsatisfied and frustrated with such a job).

Whenever an Immortal awakens to his true self, he is suddenly engulfed by all his former memories: what he was, what he did and what he became, for everything is stored in the Essence matrix of the Vox, which is the actual brain and personality centre of an Himsati Immortal. This episode lasts for but a few minutes causing utter disorientation and even loss of consciousness, and happens usually between the age of twenty and forty, although there are known exceptions, due often to either mental or physical trauma. The young Immortal will be extremely confused by the unexplainable memories and visions that will haunt him for the next days. He will suddenly do things that he never knew he could do, we will remember times when he could not possible have been born yet, he will feel other voices inside his head, tugging for control. However this does not mean he will know he is an Himsati Immortal – many believe they are going insane, so they seek medical assistance – the Perpetual Society maintains a tight vigilance around doctors and clinics of the specialty in order to better locate and aid stray and recently risen Immortals

From this point on, their agtops entirely. They never grow sick (should they contract even the deadliest of diseases, they shrug it off in a matter of weeks), seldomlgrow tired, and even the deepest of wounds will close up in a matter of seconds.

 

Rogue Children of a Mad God

Sixty-five million years ago, the Mad God known as Sanguinary was cast out of its plane, a realm composed entirely of thought, and found itself adrift in Mekrath. Gigantic and unbearably beautiful, it plunged out of control throughour universe until Earth blocked its path. It crashed against our planet and shattered like glass into millions of shards that rained around the globe. The Sanguinary did not die when it shattered, for even her scattered parts had a life of their own and a fragment of its alien intellect. Slowly, they invaded the living biosphere of the Earth like parasites, seeking hosts among the animals that then dominated the world—the dinosaurs. The shards made everything they invaded immortal, to better protect the host while the shard sought to physically locate and merge with others of its kind.

The first race, reborn from the perishing dinosaurs, became even more sleek and deadly as the shards rewrote their DNA and transformed them. Men would later call them dragons, but when the intellect of these creatures grew to sentience, they called themselves the Abzulim. They grew in power, as they discovered how to use the power of the shards inside themselves, and used this magic to power their technology. They spread forth from Earth and started to walk between realms and beyond. They built slave races, also immortal, to manage their expanding dominions. As the Abzulim grew in power, they also began rebelling internally against the shards that possessed them. They became fiercely individualistic and unable to work together. Then, despite the mental conditioning, their slave races revolted. Eventually, in spite of all their power, the reign of the Abzulim was brought crashing down by countless far-flung rebellions. Abzulim who survived the holocaust hid themselves in distant fortresses and plotted their return to power.

The young Immortals, free of Abzulim oppression, divided the empires of their fallen masters. Yet they, too, became intolerant of one another and soon went to war. The rediscovery of humanity only exacerbated this conflict as the Immortals competed with one another for the worship of humanity. Worship became an insidious drug, and the Immortals were addicted. Their conflicts led to a terrible war, the Shouting War, when Immortals used their powerful voices to rip apart reality, in a vain attempt to control the entire race. Eventually, they fell prey to a new slave race of the Abzulim, an elemental race of shadows called the Shadowen. Serving their Abzulim masters, the Shadowen confined the other Immortals in a barren, dimensional prison.

The Sanguinary, during all of this time, had not been idle. It almost succeeded in its quest to rejoin the fragments of its body, but was thwarted when the master shard It was building was found by the young Immortals and smashed. On the verge of perishing for good, it abdicated from its corporeal body and instead found refuge in the collective unconscious of a newly emerging humanity, transferring its essence into the young race. At the moment it possessed the human race, the dream realm came into being, a lair in which the Sanguinary hides and plans its eventual resurrection.

Each shard had the same purpose: to reunite with others and thereby bring the Sanguinary back into a single, terrible body again.

The Immortals eventually freed themselves from their prison. Their guards, the Shadowen, were powerless to prevent the escape because they faced a new enemy in the form of the Progeny, Immortals loyal to the Sanguinary who embraced its hunger and selfishness.

The war has raged since then, all the way into the present time. Many fear that with the approaching of the Reckoning, the Sanguinary will be at last prepared to rise. It is up to the Immortals to stop it, or they will become Its avatars of destruction.

 

Playing Himsati Immortals

Playing an Immortal depends, obviously, on his age. Since all Immortals have been around for more or less the same time, the age of their host actively influences how they react to the world. Most Immortal are recently young, being part of the many Immortals who underwent Lethe in the last few centuries. They are at odds with themselves and still don’t control their powers fully. Like most normal Cast Members, they are only now starting to experience the paranormal first hand, and grasping their new existence.

On the other plate of the scales there are the elder Immortals, beings who have been conscious for centuries, if not millennia – they can be seen as jaded, hardened creatures, or as eager thrill-seekers who travel in search of novelty and amusement to stave off ennui. They might fear and mistrust technology, or they might revel in anything that is new and brings a flavour of surprise to their lives. Some may defend mankind out of true nobility and try to liberate it from the clutches of the Sanguinary, others can be as selfish as one can, wanting only to remain alive, capable of resorting to mankind-scale genocide just to assure the Sanguinary does not live on.

Humans are something of a paradox to Immortals. On one hand, humanity is a deadly race; any human could have the mind of the Sanguinary lying dormant in the subconscious. On the other hand, most humans are innocent pawns or completely harmless. However, Immortals realize that humanity may be instrumental in their victory over the Sanguinary. A human's faith, should his will be strong enough, can damage or even cripple an Immortal. Yet these are precisely the humans Immortals would like to bring into the fold. The tricky part is enlightening mankind to the beast that sleeps inside the world of its dreams. Ultimately, the Immortal still remember what it means to be human all too well – even if they mean little more than cattle, most Immortal recall the time when the faith and worship of mankind would grant them incomparable power… and what a rush it was. Thus, if destroying the Sanguinary will also help mankind by freeing them from its grasp, so much the better.

 

Creating Himsati Immortal Personas

Himsati Immortal use the Gifted character type, and, although they do not have to purchase the Gift, they must pay for the Metaphysic “Himsati Immortal” Quality (15 points), which grants them the common Himsati Immortal powers, and the possibility to purchase other powers. The rest of character creation proceeds as normal. Those with this Quality may purchase special powers as well.

Common Powers and Vulnerabilities

All Himsati Immortals possess the following advantages and drawbacks:

Immortality

It is nigh impossible to permanently kill an Immortal – they resist to all forms of damage, poison and disease (even terminal diseases disappear in 15 – Constitution days), although they are still subject to the same shock and unconsciousness rules as normal humans.

The worst setback that can happen to an immortal is to have his host body destroyed, but even that isn’t final, for the vox is set free to seek a new host. When at –30 Life Points or less, the Immortal must make a Survival Test with a – 1 penalty for each –10 Life Points below the first –10. Should the test succeed, the Immortal is merely knocked unconscious, and will recover his senses as soon as he reaches 1 or more Life Points, and on a high-level success, he remains conscious and active. On a failure, the host body is destroyed. In case of a critical failure (if the result of the test – after the bonus and penalties are applied – is equal or less to 1) not only the body is destroyed, but the Immortal enters Lethe as well: he loses all his past memories and his current personality becomes an Avatar.

When an Immortal’s host is destroyed normally, the body is consumed and explodes in a flash of crimson light, and the Vox will leave it as a thin red mist. With the body gone, the mind remains, however: it still retains the same sentience and intelligence, as well as use mind-related powers. The Immortal will manage to retain the red mist form for 1 hour per Willpower rating. Afterwards, the Vox will regain its gem-like appearance and start creating a new host body. If the Immortal falls to Lethe, however, things will be much more complicated – the Vox will remain wherever the body fell and can be carried away.

When left alone, the Vox will grow for itself a new mortal form, which will look very others who live (and dream) nearby – Immortals fallen in east Africa will look Nubian, while Vocci buried in Asian soil will grow Asian-looking bodies. This is a lengthy and strenuous task, however, since the Vox needs 30 Essence points to create a new body, and will only amass them by tapping into ambient Essence, since it has none of its own – that’s why some manage to form new bodies in a matter of hours (during certain Times of Power) while others take weeks, even months to be ready. Should someone find and destroy the new host before it’s complete, the Vox will escape on gaseous form once again. This gaseous form, however, is still bound by the precepts of normal physics laws. The Vox will take no chances that its body will be discovered before it’s fully formed – it emits telepathic signals to surrounding human minds, influencing them through their dream state to either stay clear or, if their minds are pliable enough, to defend the embryo. Despite this protective measure, Immortals or even humans not controlled by the Sanguinary find some of these Vocci. Even then, the Vox continues to ply its influence on the new owner, by sending him tempting dreams as rewards for seeing to its safety.

Manipulate Essence

Himsati Immortals do not need Essence Channelling, as they can gather and use Essence at the rate they wish it, as long as they have it in store.

 

Natures and Himsati

Most of the Immortals that exist were created intentionally by the Abzulim, who forcefully injected shards into them. Later, when humans evolved, Immortals were affected, against their will, by human spiritual faith. Their bodies took on human appearance to suit the expectations of their worshippers. Still, Immortals maintain the ability to revert to their more primitive Himsati ("the form that kills") at will, calling upon natural powers such as fangs, claws and wings, for each Vox maintains stored in its Essence matrix the original identity of its first body. Such natures are both a boon and a curse, for they grant the Immortals immense powers, but, at the same time, they give a leeway for the Sanguinary to control the Immortal. Each Himsati Immortal has only one Himsati form, which remains ever the same, no matter how many incarnations the immortal goes through. Each Himsati form grants special powers related to that form – the Natures. Natures can also be bought with either memory or experience points, but are usually restricted -- having Natures different from your Himsati type is possible, but only as a great boon granted by a Lord or another powerful Immortal, and the Chronicler has always the final word about it.

At this point, the player must choose the type and species of his Himsati form, be it a hawk, a dog or a piece of crystal. There are two sets of Himsatis: the Naturals (organic living beings) and the Elementals (elements in their pure form). All sets begin with 4 points to spend on Natures, and the Elementals have automatically the Nature “Wishgiving” for free. All in all, Elementals seem more powerful than their Natural counterparts, (see Superhuman Attributes, below), but their weakness is the fact that their Vox is not part of their body, like the Naturals’ is, thus they are always at – 2 penalty in the use of Serenades. Thus, when in humanoid form, they must wear their Vox somehow: as a necklace, a ring, a tie clip, etc. However, when they shapeshift, their Vox falls to the ground – which can be a very dangerous thing to happen.

Don’t Lose Your Vox!

If an Elemental’s Vox is not within acceptable range he’ll immediately lose all Vox-related benefits and powers, and will start losing 1 point in Primary Attributes per day, until one of them reaches 0. At this point he is risking truly Final Death – if any of the Attributes goes below this, the Immortal will effectively perish – the Vox will be clean of all Avatars, thus becoming a mere, lifeless Shard, until it is fused to a living creature. The furthest acceptable distance for an Elemental to be separated from his Vox is 2 miles per Willpower level. All the lost attributes and powers lost are regained at once as soon as the Elemental enters the actable distance.

Furthermore, the Immortals’ accelerated healing will only work if the Elemental in their human form (that is, with no natures activated). When an Elemental is shapeshifted, he can have this increased healing ability only if in contact with his element. On the good side, they are immune to damage caused by their element in the pure form (for example, an Earth Elemental Himsati would never be hurt by a thrown rock, but would take normal damage from a sword or bullet, even though such things are still part of the Earth element). See Chapter Five: Metaphysics, pp xx-xx, for further information on Natures.

Himsatis Shapes

Amphibian or Reptile
Example Species: Lizard, Snake, Alligator, Frog, Salamander.
Bonus: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +1 Intelligence, +1 Perception, +2 Willpower.

Bird
Example Species: Raptor, Carrion Bird, Parrot, Sea Bird, Eagle.
Bonus: +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, +3 Perception, +3 Willpower.

Insect or Arachnid
Example Species: Wasp, Ant, Mantis, Cockroach, Grasshopper, Spider, Scorpion.
Bonus: +1 Strength, +1 Dexterity, +3 Constitution, +1 Intelligence, +2 Perception, +2 Willpower.

Mammal
Example Species: Cat, Wolf, Rodent, Horse, Bear, Bat.
Bonus: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +1 Constitution, +3 Intelligence, +2 Perception.

Marine Animal
Example Species: Fish, Octopus, Squid, Eel, Whale, Dolphin, Seal.
Bonus: +2 Strength, +1 Dexterity, +4 Constitution, +1 Perception, +2 Willpower.

Plant
Example Species: Tree, Bush, Vine, Moss, Coral.
Bonus: +4 Strength, +1 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +1 Intelligence, +2 Perception.

Air Elemental
Example Forms: Air, Fog, Storm Cloud, Wind.
Bonus: +1 Strength, +3 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +2 Perception, +2 Willpower.

Earth Elemental
Example Forms: Stone, Metal, Gem, Jewel, Weapon, Sculpture, Sand.
Bonus: +5 Strength, +3 Constitution, +2 Perception, +2 Willpower

Fire Elemental
Example Forms: Fireball, Lightning, Heat, Diffuse Glow, Pillar of Flame.
Bonus: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +1 Intelligence, +3 Perception, +2 Willpower

Shadow Elemental
Example Forms: Silhouette, Dark Cloud, Shadow.
Bonus: +1 Strength, +3 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +1 Intelligence, +2 Perception, +3 Willpower

Water Elemental
Example Forms: Ice, Mist, Stream, Pool, Rain.
Bonus: +2 Strength, +1 Dexterity, +1 Constitution, +3 Intelligence, +3 Perception, +2 Willpower

 

Himsati Immortals in the Unisystem™:

The Himsati bonus in the “Immortal: Millennium” are slightly different (and much more earth-shattering). Instead of a balanced distribution among the six Primary Attributes, they have been joined into three aspects of a Himsati’s form: BODY, MIND and SPIRIT. The Himsati receives a set number of points to place in these three aspects. Each of the aspect comprises two Primary Attributes, and the player may allocate the bonus points between these two Attributes as he wishes: BODY comprises Strength and Dexterity; MIND comprises Perception and Intelligence; and, finally, SPIRIT comprises Willpower and Constitution. The Bonus Points are the following:

Himsati Type:

BODY

MIND

SPIRIT

Bird

+ 0

+ 10

+ 5

Insect / Arachnid

+ 0

+ 5

+ 10

Mammal

+ 5

+ 10

+ 0

Marine Animal

+ 5

+ 0

+ 10

Plant

+ 10

+ 5

+ 0

Reptile / Amphibian

+ 10

+ 0

+ 5

Air Elemental

+ 5

+ 5

+ 10

Earth Elemental

+ 10

+ 5

+ 5

Fire Elemental

+ 5

+ 10

+ 5

Shadow Elemental

+ 5

+ 5

+ 10

Water Elemental

+ 5

+ 10

+ 5

Regeneration

Immortals recover lost Life, Endurance and Essence points much faster than humans do. The regeneration rates are as follows: Life Points: 1 point per Strength + Constitution level each turn.
Endurance Points: 2 points per Constitution level each half-hour of sleep, or one hour of rest.
Essence Points: 2 points per Willpower level each minute

Restrictions

Immortals cannot have or use any Gifted abilities – when the vox creates a host body, it has no human soul, thus denying the source of magical power. They have to use their own form of magic – the Serenades. Other powers, such as Miracles, Tao-Chi, Necromancy, Disciplines of the Flesh or the Sight are forbidden as well.

Serenades

Over time, the Immortals learned to make the vox work for them. Because the vox opened their senses to the true nature of the universe, they used it to imitate the celestial din. This is the origin of the Serenades, the ability to change reality with a whisper, a muttered word, or a song. The discovery of this ability nearly destroyed the Immortals, as serenades became the ultimate weapon. Refer to Chapter Five: Metaphysics for further detail on Serenades.

Shapeshifting

All Immortals may call upon their Himsati, and draw out all manner of abilities related to that form, such as wings, claws, etc. – these are called the Natures. The complete information on Natures can be found on pp. xx-xx.

Shapeshifting is a complicated business, however – the lure of one’s wild side is strong: after all, it’s one’s true nature. For that same reason, undergoing partial shapeshifting (i.e. activating any number of natures) only takes an action – reverting to mortal shape, however, requires a Simple Intelligence Test. If the Immortal takes his time, and reverts one nature at a time he must make one test per nature activated, and that’s it. But if he tries to revert from all natures at the same time, he must one single Simple Intelligence Test, but with a –1 penalty per each nature activated. In case of undergoing a complete shapeshift (when the Immortal takes his Himsati form – a wolf if his Himsati is a wolf, a shadow if it is a shadow elemental), one action is required as well, and all natures are considered activated. Of course, the Immortal suffers the limitations of its form – a shadow can’t be hit by bullets, but it cannot speak or pick up an object – however, all five senses are at the Immortal’s disposal (for instance, a rose can hear, a rock can see, and so on) and all objects that cannot be held by the current form – such as clothes, shoes, etc. – fall to the ground – things such as jewellery may be kept if the animal form allows it (for instance, a necklace around an Immortal’s neck may remain around his wolf form, whereas it could not if his form was a shadow). When the Immortal wishes to revert back to his mortal from a complete shapeshift, he must pass a Difficult Intelligence Test.

In both partial and complete shapeshift, reverting back to human form is the most dangerous moment, however, as the Immortal is at his most vulnerable: should he fail critically the changing test (a final result of 1 or less, after all bonuses and penalties are applied) he is possessed by the Sanguinary, who takes over his mind, and it will be only a matter of time before his Vox is retrieved by the Sanguinary’s minions.

Superhuman Attributes

Immortals are stronger, faster, more resilient and more beautiful than humans, as a result of the influence human faith exerted upon the vox, and, therefore, they reach any level in any attribute they desire – even with the expenditure of experience points. An Immortal may go well beyond the limit 6 for humans.

Secondary Attributes, Endurance and Speed are calculated as normal, but to determine an Immortal’s Essence and Life Points, the following formula should be used:


Life Points: ((Strength + Constitution) x 5) + 15. An Immortal can have up to 15 levels of Hard to Kill.
Essence Points: All Attributes summed together + 25. Increased Essence Pool is also allowed.

Min-Maxing:

This expression was created to designate a “trick of the trade” many players resort to – especially when bonus points are involved – in order to make a character as powerful as possible. If you tell your players to make a Himsati Immortal character you have to be ready for the possibility that they will try to compensate the character, i.e. during the character creation, they will try to cram as many points as possible in the Primary Attributes that will receive low (or no) bonuses from their Himsatis. You should discourage this as much as possible – this is not a superhero slugfest game, after all. It’s not about knowing who’s stronger or smarter or faster. Therefore, you should ask your players to create the human host and choose their Himsati before letting them receive the bonus points. Heck, they should have the character done before even being allowed to see the bonus points chart!

Unaging

Like other Immortals, the Himsati stop aging completely when their Vox awakens, and they remain freezed in that age for eternity (or until they either enter Lethe or possess a new body). Most changes occur between the early 20s and late 30s, but this can happen outside this range if some traumatic event triggers the Vox response.

Vox, Avatar and Fugue

The Vox represents the soul of any Immortal. More, it contains the minds and personalities of the Immortals former incarnations. Since the Vox is the actual “brain” of the Immortal, even when the host perishes, the Immortal will have the same knowledge, memories and personality it had before. However, immortality can often be a burden, so many Immortals undergo the forbidden ritual of Lethe (see p. xx), where they seal their personality, reset the Vox, and begin a new life with no memories of the past and of their immortal condition. Even when they get this knowledge, their former personality is forever lost – it’s but another Avatar stored away in the Vox’s complex matrix. This matrix is also a source of power – not only does is the source of the Serenades but it also contain the records of the Immortal’s past lives (with memories and powers included).

These past lives are known as the Avatars – each Avatar is a mythological figure which is now stored within the Vox. King Arthur, Zeus, Horus, etc. are examples of Gods and Deities that were, in fact, Immortals, and all Immortal characters begin automatically with an Avatar of the player’s choice. Each Avatar (i.e. this includes the first Avatar, which is mandatory) grants 10 Memory Points and add + 1 to the beginning Fugue Rating (the starting Fugue Rating is 1, representing the first Avatar). The Memory Points work like bonus points usable to purchase Skills and Metaphysics only, but with the particularity that they can be spent at once or stored for later use (tales of young Immortals who had never even picked up a knife, but who, in the middle of a fight, start using a sword like they had done so their entire life, are not uncommon). They represent the knowledge and the power of the Immortal’s Avatars and so they should reflect their personality. The choice of Avatar(s) should be carefully made, (the Chronicler should be wary not to have two different characters with the same Avatar), and as usual the Chronicler has the final word concerning what is or is not allowed.

Huh, So What Do We Do Now?

Here’s something totally unexpected: no rules are given to create of an Avatar. Not even a list from which to choose from. Many players will rejoice at this, and dive headlong into books of mythology to find the coolest story possible. Others will be scared – especially those whose Mythological knowledge isn’t so great. The Chronicler should be ready to help such players, by having at least a superficial knowledge of a few of the greater Pantheons and their better-known representatives. The Greek/Roman Pantheon is a must, and the Norse is one of the favourites, as well. Arthurian legend also gives many interesting possibilities, and for those who fancy something more obscure, there’s nothing like Mayan, Aztec or even Egyptian myths. In order to make things easier for the players, the Chronicler can decide to choose himself which Avatar is attributed to which Cast Member – the player will explain what kind of character he would like to play, and the Chronicler will find a suitable Avatar for him.

Furthermore, since an Immortal is constantly accompanied by his former lives in the form of his Avatar(s), he can resort to the skills of his predecessors, in a way similar to the Old Soul Quality (see WitchCraft, p. 88). When faced with a situation where the Immortal must make an unskilled attempt, he can instead make a Willpower and Intelligence test. If he passes, he can make the test as a normal one, with the skill level equivalent to number of Avatars. Of course, this only works with the skills known by his former selves.

The Vox constantly vibrates to the hum of the celestial din that it imitates when making serenades. This constantly causes a background voice, as the vibrations continually keep the sparks of the essences of the various avatars alive and well inside the Vox. This background voice is usually so quiet that it is no more than a mere whisper, and many immortals do not even notice it. However, as time marches on, the voice can become louder as more avatars are added to the chorus of voices and during times of depression, extreme boredom, or confusion, the immortal actually begins to hear them. Added to this confusion is the fact that the voices are alien, and have memories and thoughts that do not match what the immortal has within his organic brain (which has no knowledge of the avatars). This can bring on a form of madness known as Fugue.

The Fugue Rating determines the possibility of being possessed by avatars. When a Fugue Trigger is activated (all immortals have at least one Fugue Trigger per Avatar, and some immortals have more than one if they have particularly strong avatars), a Fugue Test must be made: the player rolls a D10 and compares it with the character’s Fugue Rating. If he rolls higher than the Fugue Rating, the character passes the test and won’t have to make that test again for the remainder of the scene, even if confronted with the same Fugue Trigger. If he rolls equal or lower, then he failed the test, and the Character will be dazed, as old memories (which are not his) will engulf him – he’ll be at -3 at all tests for the remainder of the scene, and all tests that involve Perception will be at -5. If a 1 was rolled, repeat the test. If the Character passes the test this time, then he’ll simply be dazed, as above. However, if he fails the test, a critical failure has occurred. On a critical failure, an avatar takes control over the Immortal, up to the point of physically changing the appearance of the Immortal to that of the avatar (though the avatar must use the attributes possessed by the current Immortal). At this point, the player loses control over his Character, and the Character becomes an NPC (with its own agenda and goals) – which may or may not involve aiding the Main Cast – until the player regains control.

Fugue Tests – Fast and Furious:

If for some reason you feel that this Fugue test does not fit the usual WitchCraft standards, simply have the players make a Simple Willpower test with their Fugue Rating working as a penalty. If the final result is 1 or less, then a critical failure has occurred, and the Avatar takes over.

Fugue Triggers

Fugue triggers are incidents that are recorded on the immortal's Vox as memories, which also reverberate within one of the avatar's memories, causing its spark to become active. This can cause the avatar to begin speaking with the immortal from the Vox, the avatar to manifest, or even for the immortal to go into periods of madness or worse. Sometimes, things can happen which cause one of the avatars to awaken. Usually this is the immortal perceiving an event (for example, a child being slaughtered), or being involved in a circumstance in which the avatar knew well (the thrill of the hunt, for instance). As the Vox is recording this experience, the vibrations can strike a chord of memory within one of the older personality matrices. This can also cause the avatar to manifest in the background, speaking to the immortal above the other voices. In the worst case, (when critically failing a Fugue check) the avatar's spark suppresses the immortal's own spark, pushing it back into the Vox while it comes out to attune to the auras. This can cause the immortal to physically transform into the avatar. When the avatar finally is too tired to keep the immortal suppressed (usually when the host body runs out of Endurance Points, or needs to sleep), the current immortal re-emerges and the avatar sinks back into the Vox. Fugue Triggers should be decided with the aid of the Chronicler, and represent mildly uncommon situations, but not nearly impossible ones – for instances, having the Fugue Trigger “Seeing a girl being hit” is a good choice. Now, if it were “Seeing a red-haired girl in a toga being slapped by six men” would be absurd for its impossibility and no Chronicler should allow it. However if it were “Seeing a girl” it would be too common, and the poor player would have to be making tests every two minutes (unless he actually took the Drawback “Common Fugue Trigger”.

Examples of Fugue Triggers:
Seeing a person who looks like an ancient lover/enemy
Drinking/eating a certain type of wine/food
Being in a certain place
Being confined
Seeing a hail/thunder storm
Hearing a type of music/instrument
Seeing an eclipse/natural disaster
Watching the sunset/sunrise
Watching a murder/birth.

Special Powers and Vulnerabilities

Chimera

5-point Power

Prerequisite: A Natural Himsati.

Your Himsati is not an animal, nor an elemental. Your First Form was created, not born. You were a product of the Abzulim, who made you a hybrid – and as a hybrid, although you have a main Himsati, you can choose any Natures you desire – however, you are restricted to Natural Natures.

Combat Reflexes

1-point Power

This power is often found among Slayers and Guardians of the Perpetual Society, the best warriors of all. It represents the ability to draw one’s weapon as a reflex action, without even thinking of it. Characters with this power can draw up to two weapons (one for each hand, obviously) – both Guns and Melee weapons – without having to spend an action.

Combat Mastery

3-point Power / level

Prerequisite: Either Brawl, Martial Arts or Hand Weapon with a rating of at least 4.

A warrior with this power has practiced the Art of War for long that he excels in it – he dances in the battlefield seeming almost impossible to hit. When using any of the above skills, if he has in it a rating equal or above 4, he has a free attack action every turn, per level bought.

Common Trigger

Variable Drawback

An Immortal with this Drawback is much more susceptible to his Avatars than most other Immortals. His memories are far more common; therefore it is much easier for him to enter Fugue. The easier it is to be in a Trigger situation, the more points this Drawback grants. Common Triggers could be, for instance, “Seeing someone falling” (as a 2-point Drawback), “Seeing someone smiling” (as a 4-point Drawback) or “Seeing a bird” (as a 5-point Drawback).

Iron Will

4-point Power

Immortals with this power have conditioned themselves with an extraordinary discipline, to the point of being completely in control of their emotions and feelings. This translates as a +3 bonus to resist any attempt (magical or otherwise) to mess with the character’s mind (be it a Gifted power or a seduction attempt). If the power cannot be resisted, then the person trying to influence the Immortal has a -2 penalty to do so.

Multiple Triggers

1-point Drawback

One (or more) of your Avatars has a tighter grip over you – and that reflects in the fact that that Avatar’s awakening can be set off by more than one thing – increasing the possibilities of it controlling your body eventually. This Drawback can be bought multiple times, for one or more Avatars, and can be combined with the Common Trigger Drawback as well.

Powerful Avatar

4-point Drawback

All Avatars hunger for control, but some are stronger than others, and therefore much harder to resist. When one (or several) of your Avatars is this powerful, you will have a hard time keeping it in check – not only do you have 2 Fugue Triggers for that Avatar, but one of them will be at least a Level 1 Common Trigger (if you choose to make it even more common you receive the extra points, as in the drawback – for instance, if instead of a level 1 Common Trigger you wish to make it a level 2, you will receive 5 points total = 4 from the Powerful Avatar Drawback, plus one for the increase in the obligatory Level 1 Common Trigger).

Chapter 4 - Perpetual Society

          Chapter Four: Perpetual Society

“Coin!” The King snaps, landing on his feet. Hurriedly, his squire opens the bag on the saddle and retrieves a Roman aureus and offers it to the King. The king strides up to me, holding the coin. I look at the coin.

“Go ahead, take it. Inspect it.” He says with an encouraging smile. “I want you to verify your payment.”

“I trust you my lord,” I say, taking my eyes away from him. Mortals like to see submission. It reminds them of themselves, and of course, they hate each other most of the time.

“I insist.” He says, still smiling.

Something is wrong here.

I take the coin. It’s heavy in my hand. And cold. Undoubtedly genuine. I close my hand on it, nodding approvingly. I offer it back, but he gestures for me to keep it. He makes another gesture and the squire hefts the bag with more coins and sets it on the ground at my feet, untying the cloth, spreading the small hoard out. All of the coins are identical to the one in my hand. Each one looks polished with care. And there are too many. This thought fills me with more unease.

“Well?” He inquires,

“I am satisfied, my lord.” I say. “You are most generous, this is more than we agreed on.”

“There’s more where that came from,” he laughs. “Interested?”

Ah! Relief floods me. He has another proposition.

“Extremely, my lord.” I smile.

He smiles with exquisite satisfaction, walking over to his black mount, which continues to stare at me. He strokes its cheek.

“Wonderful.” He swings around and onto the horse’s back. He makes a gesture and suddenly I am surrounded with men and grappled roughly.

“Take the traitor to the Blacksmith.” He orders.

“My lord!” I call in terror. I am surrounded by Bright Bloods. The force of their auras presses in on me.

My legs weaken.

He leans forward in his saddle.

“Did you really think I would trust a traitor who caused the downfall of her own lover?”

“Let go of me!” I scream. “You have no idea of the forces you affront!”

He laughs and leans forward even more, stroking his mounts mane. He blows a kiss on the wind toward me. The shadows of my disguise tremble and melt, revealing my true appearance to him. His men let out cries of consternation as I grow from a plain mortal into a preternatural beauty. “Lancelot was right,” the King mutters as the last of his willpower sweeps past with the tattered remnants of my disguise. “You are nothing but a whore painted up in…”

Introduction

This chapter describes all the major aspects of the Perpetual Society, a gathering of Himsati Immortals: their goals, methods, history and allies, as well as their organization, divided in Courts and Callings, with the respective description of each of them.

The Perpetual Society

The Perpetual Society is an organization that gathers most of the Himsati Immortals in existence for a better common protection against the Enemy. Their purpose is to defeat the Mad God known as the Sanguinary, which is only waiting to regain a foothold in our reality long enough to have a physical body once again. Although most of the Society is comprised by Himsati Immortals, many humans claim membership in it – from Mundanes to Makers and Bright Bloods and even (in very rare cases) Gifted.

History

At the time of its arrival to our world, the Sanguinary’s shattered body infected the dominant species on the planet, the dinosaurs. These Abzulim became sentient, intelligent, warlike and eventually paranoid. They created slave races, the current Immortals, to manage their swelling empires. Immortals broke free from their servitude through mutual cooperation. They formed large, organized pantheons they called Prides. These extended alliances, each containing Immortals centred in one of the various forces of nature, formed the first cohesive Immortal society. This diversity seemed to strengthen Immortals, but in reality they were unable to overcome their differences from one another for most of their history.

Eventually, the Prides became political entities concerned with status, power and competition. Having gone to war and nearly destroyed one another several times, they created a bloodless conflict, a political “game” which allowed members of the various Prides to reveal weaknesses in their rivals, ostensibly allowing the embarrassed rivals to perceive a weakness in themselves and thus be more difficult to exploit by the Sanguinary. It made perfect sense that such an exercise would create a force of wise and superbly trained warriors capable of confronting the Sanguinary in the final war. In reality, the differences between Immortals fostered constant mistrust and continued to inflate egos. The Perpetual Society of that age, as the Prides collectively called themselves, came to believe its own propaganda, that they had become the ultimate warriors, invulnerable to the Sanguinary’s best machinations. Proof of this came from a lull in attacks by the Sanguinary’s minions, which the Prides perceived as a growing fear of their own power. Too late, they learned the truth of their folly. Arrogance blinded the Prides to the danger they were in. Their organizations had been infiltrated by a number of the Sanguinary agents, turncoats who worked to undermine the solidarity of the Perpetual Society. Some Prides had their entire leadership subsumed by agents of the Sanguinary.

The Prides were attacked by hoards of the Droves in the year 1999 and obliterated with a scattering of survivors. This event was known as the Great Betrayal since a number of key Immortals were involved, traitors who orchestrated the downfall of their own people.

Those Immortals who fell were carried screaming back to the Sanguinary’s dark capital, there to be merged with the growing embryonic body of the monster. Far away, their brothers and sisters sensed their lights go out – death had come to much of the Immortal race. The survivors of the attack regrouped deep within their protected territories, the mantles. There, they realigned themselves into the same paradigms now known as the Courts, each connected to a different aspect of reality.

Beliefs

The Society’s main objective is quite clear: destroy the Sanguinary permanently. Since this cannot be attained in a direct as it might sound at first, the task must be divided first into smaller goals, such as protecting the human souls and minds, destroying the Sanguinary’s minions, defending the Society’s own assets, gathering knowledge and so on. It was for that reason that the Society is divided into several Courts, as each of them controls and is responsible for one of such aspects. Only thanks to a true cooperation between all of them, can the Perpetual Society to ever expect to achieve its goal. Because the members of a specific Court have powers and aptitudes similar to others in the group, there is a deeper understanding between members. This enhanced sensitivity has a number of advantages. The first is the relative difficulty of enemy forces to infiltrate the similarity inherent in the group. The second is a refined spirit of cooperation based on clear understanding of the objectives. Members of the Court understand the nature of what they are, the powers that influence them (and that they influence themselves) and where these influences need to be applied.

Sometimes, they are confronted with other Mad God-related events, and they will do their utmost to help – as long as their true face isn’t revealed or any primary missions compromised – for if having a Mad God around is bad enough, then, having two should be beyond a nightmare come true.

Organization

There are nine Courts in existence, each a political division, but with a focus on harnessing the full potential of its members.

The Immortal Courts are quite feudal in their makeup: at the head of each Court sits a Paragon, an Immortal whose power and dedication has allowed him or her to rise through the ranks of Lords and High Lords into that position. Then there are those who have achieved the highest levels towards enlightenment, and who dominate the pecking order – these are the Lords and High Lords. Those lower on the hierarchy are generally submissive to the will of those above them. Because the Lords tend to be known for their reputation of wisdom and thoughtfulness, such adoration is usually genuine. Plus, the enlightened members of the Court sponsor individuals or even whole Pantheons, acting as mentors and providing them tutelage. Individual members benefiting from their patronage are known as “Sons” and “Daughters”. Whenever an Immortal presents himself to a Lord, strict formal protocol is often expected. While the protocol can vary, there are threads of similarity in every Court, such for as the rule that decrees that all non-Lord members of the Court must observe a policy of never looking a Lord in the eyes without permission.

Within all Courts, there can be found members of all the Callings: one set of related things they excel at. Immortals of the same Calling gather together like a brotherhood, helping each other to hone their skills and abilities within that Calling. Callings are not professions, however: indeed, a member of the Slayer Calling, could very well be a doctor in his mortal guise, using his knowledge of the hunt to ferret out disease in the human body. All the Callings are also know by their individual Call Sign, originated thousands of years ago in ancient Babylonian times, and now used by many mortals as their signs for the popular Western Astrology. Although all Immortals instinctively have a Calling (and that tends to show in their skills), only those claiming membership in the Society receive an extensive training to improve themselves in that field.

Although each Court operates by its own particular standards and method of work, usually after each meeting of the Paragon Council, the Paragon of a Court will sit with his Chancellors and discuss the events of the meeting and how best their particular Court can lend itself to the needs brought forth during the Paragons' meeting. The Chancellors will then send out Emissaries to visit the various High Lords and needs and information are passed up and down this chain of command, strategies assessed in each region where the Court has standing, and assignments are given to those within that region. Assignments that an Immortal of a particular Calling may receive can come from a Lord, a High Lord, or even a Chancellor. When not working towards fulfilling a particular goal of their Court, most Immortals are left to pursue their own betterment, as he is expected to seek out his or her own goals on behalf of the Court, and not idly sit and wait for instructions or assignments. Furthermore, each Immortal is expected to spend time challenging himself, putting his skills to test, and to furthering the Cause by working with other Immortals, not only within his own Court and Calling, but of others as well.

Allies and Enemies

Rosicrucians: The master scholars are no doubt the Covenant with more overall information concerning the Society and Himsati Immortals in general, which is not saying much. Some of the Masters know something about these Immortals, and have even related some to the legends of the Old Gods, but little more, which suits the Society just fine. Even if the Gifted do fascinate them, they have to keep their identity hidden until they achieve a final victory over the enemy. They will work with this Covenant willingly and most often than with any, however, if that does not compromise their secrets – most of the time as a friend or lover of the Gifted – and by aiding him in subtle ways, such as dream weaving, or even by acting as a guardian angel.

Sentinels: The Sentinels are a touchy affair to the Perpetual Society, at the very least. For years they were the Old Gods, worshipped and followed by thousands and millions. Then, they started to be forgotten, traded by the One God, losing the faith and the worship of their followers, thus losing power as well at each passing day. But that was not the issue: what the Immortals have never forgiven the followers of the One God was the genocide made on His name: the Old Gods and their worshippers respected the religions of others, and believed they could co-exist peacefully side-by-side. But their former followers were either forced into worship or slaughtered, their holy places of worship were destroyed and desecrated, and they were called demons and devils out to corrupt mankind. For that reason – and although they will not harm a follower of the One God intentionally for his allegiance – most Immortals will go out of their way to avoid Sentinels, and only a matter of the utmost importance will make them work alongside them. It is less common for younger Immortals to have that problem, but the elders still remember the screams of their high priests and priestesses being tortured and burnt alive at the stake or inside their holy forests.

Lodge of the Undying: In spite of what one might think at first, neither Association has any particular knowledge on each other, although there have been cases of friends or lovers who find each other after millennia, which leaves in the hands of both the problematic task of explaining themselves. Since True Immortals can sense others like them, it will be impossible for a Himsati Immortal to pass for a True. On the other hand, most of the time, the Himsatis will take the other for a Bright Blood or even another Himsati. Since until now there haven’t been any obvious and blatant cases, the two groups have remained more or less oblivious to one another.

Wicce: The Wicce do not possess any special power or knowledge that might aid the Perpetual Society in its struggle against the Sanguinary, therefore they are of very little importance to the Society in General. However, members of the Court of Life are irresistibly drawn to these Gifted: their love for the nature and deep concern with the survival of the planet often brings them together, fighting against a common foe. Contact with this Covenant is made on an individual basis, and the looseness inherent to the Wicce leads the Immortals to think of them not as an actual organization, but just as a few scattered Gifted who follow the Old Ways.

Cabal of Psyche: The Seers fascinate the Courts of Fate and Dreams, and they would do nearly anything to be able of enlisting one of them into their ranks – as they believe that they could help them uncover the Sanguinary’s weakness, which would bring It down. However, and for some unknown reason, the Seers have chosen to remain apart from the Society, and remain undetected by it.

Twilight Order, House of Thanatos and the Fellowship of Judas: The Court of Death has frequent dealings with these three Associations, and will ally themselves with them at the briefest notice, when dealing with problems that involve death and the souls of humans. Their knowledge of death also fascinates the Court, and many days are spent listening to stories by members of these three groups. The true nature of the Himsati Immortals is not known to most of them, but some members of the House of Thanatos have recently discovered the truth about their Immortality, and are eager to know how they have found a way to defeat death.

Knights Templar: The Court of Secrets and their Empaths are the most likely to cross paths with this group – and sometimes things can go very wrong because of it – as both groups are unaware of each other, they can often get in each other’s way easily. Since a few years, the Society has started to cross swords with a strange group, with a hold over mankind powerful enough to shape the future of man: the Combine. This threat is not even as half as large as that of the Sanguinary, but it starts to draw more and more of their attention at each passing day –together with the Court of Fate, they have recently began throwing monkey-wrenches into several of the Combine actions, from hostile takeovers, to expansion of drug cartels, and even two assassination attempts. However, at least five Immortals were slain, one entered Lethe (the whereabouts of his Vox is unknown, but it is believed to be in the hands of the Knights Templar) and three teams of Templars were killed, while both Associations were trying to get to the common enemy and found each other instead. Since the Perpetual Society has the major advantage of immortality, and the Knights have a deeper understanding of the Combine, should they eventually unite their efforts that could very well spell disaster for the Combine.

Other Covenants: Dealings with other Covenants are null, except on a personal basis, and even so, exceedingly rare. Nomad Ferals are the most common, since they tend to often find Immortals with animal himsatis wandering around the wilderness in their animal shape – from these dealings often spring lifetime (of the Feral) friendships, since there are few who understand the calling of the Beast like the Feral and Animal Himsatis do.

Society Stories

Stories involving the Perpetual Society can involve a series of different situations. Some are described below.

Death & Rebirth: The Cast Members are the only survivors of a terrorist attack: a bomb as been set off in a mall and dozens of people have died – including the Main Cast - …or have they? As they awake in hospital together, they begin to wonder why did they survive… and what are they? Suddenly they are alone in the world – stronger, wiser, more powerful, but, even so, alone, except for each other. And as both the Perpetual Society and the Progeny race to get them in their ranks, they will have to decide who is a friend and who is a foe.

And the opposite can happen as well, if the Pantheon of the Cast Members receives the mission of rescuing a group of recently awoken Immortals… before the Progeny gets to them. But what if the Newborns lash back in fear, releasing their Serenades, and attracting the attention of the Progeny? How can the Cast keep their enemies at bay, retrieve the young Immortals unharmed, while avoiding losing their human bodies in the process?

A Past Tense: An Immortal is more than his present and future. In a world where many beings which defy the human laws of death inhabit, it is not uncommon for an Immortal to have to face things from his past, especially if his Avatars were cruel or downright evil – other Himsati Immortals, True Immortals, Vampyres and even Major Gifted might have a score to settle with the Cast Member. And how will react the rest of the Main Cast? What if one of them discovers that he lost something precious – honour, a lover, riches or even his own life – to him? Will the group fall apart? Will there be an unexpected betrayal? Will everything be forgiven and forgotten? Is the past dead and buried or does it haunt you for eternity?

Avatar In Control: An Immortal’s Avatars are a ticking time bomb – at any given moment they can go off, without warning, without mercy. Should one of them possess the body of an Immortal he is in the Avatar’s hands until the he falls asleep. But what if a powerful Immortal – the Main Cast’s mentor or ally – has been possessed several weeks ago, and does not show any signs of wanting to go back to being just another voice in the head? What if the Avatar tries to use the Cast Members as pawns, to get back at old enemies, who might even be newborn Immortals, friends of the Main Cast?

Callings

Immortals discovered about a dozen broad categories of abilities that they tended to gravitate towards, even through many mortal identities as they went through the process of Lethe and reawakened to their Immortal identities. When an Immortal joins the Perpetual Society, his Calling is quickly determined and he receives an intense training in the skills that suit him best. Each Calling has a set of Primary Skills associated with it, and the Immortal will be trained in them – that is reflected in the +3 Skill Rank bonus he receives for those same skills.

The Builders

The Callings that fall under the Builders category are dedicated to building up all aspects of Immortal society. This includes extending physical boundaries, gathering wealth, and building new structures and strongholds. It also includes efforts to improve as a species, which is very important to immortal beings.

Explorer

The masters of survival and also unarmed combat, the Explorers are the trailblazers who break new territory for discovery or conquest. The Explorer can always find his or her own way.

The Explorers wander the unknown fringe of mortal and Immortal society, pioneering new trails and recovering lost artefacts or other knowledge that can be useful in the war against the sanguinary. They travel constantly between worlds in pursuit of the undiscovered or the forgotten. Explores exist outside most social laws, but they have their own code which works for them in the wilderness they must wander. Honour is everything to an Explorer.

Call Sign: Aries, the Ram

Primary Skills: Notice, Survival, Drive

Quote: "We are the trailblazers who break new ground, and who conquer all that stands before us. Only we survive the harsh environs that others fear to tread. Train within our halls and master yourself as you master the world around you. Be it physical, mental, or social, our bodies and minds alone are the finest weapons to survive any path we follow. We go where others have not even yet imagined.”

Merchant

Practicality and an eventual sale always on their minds, the Merchants are deal makers and creators. Profit is the number one motivator for this Calling. They always have an eye for value.

Merchants are creators and dealmakers, and the Immortals’ main connection to the world of humans. Money and comfort are important to this Calling. Its creations (anything from a tool, to a temple, to an empire) are based on practicality and a return on investment. In the Merchants’ view, Immortals can only survive in the materialistic world of mankind by amassing their own fortunes and economic power. In fact, it was probably this Calling that helped create the materialism of human culture. A Merchant can, given a little time, produce most anything a person could possibly want or need… for a price. There is always a price. Profit is everything to a Merchant.

Call Sign: Taurus, the Bull

Primary Skills: Bureaucracy, Notice, Haggling.

Quote: "We have what you want, and if we do not, we will find it or make it. From the simplest quill and paper to the mightiest empire, we fulfil all needs and wants. Spend your time with us, and your efforts will yield substantial results. Practicality and opportunity are our watchwords. Buyer beware, sell high, buy low, there is no such thing as a free lunch."

Tactician

Power tamed by responsibility, these are natural born leaders. Always attuned to the needs and desires of those around them, the Tacticians are focused on bettering the Immortal species. They decide what actions should be taken by the Courts, and assign people to those tasks. Immortals are assigned to tasks not only for their ability to succeed, but also for their capacity to learn from working on the task. Those who are weak must be challenged and strengthened through adversity. If they cannot be improved, they must either be destroyed or placed in situations that offer minimum danger to Immortal society. In such cases, Tacticians make recommendations after testing individuals, and the Scourge makes the final determination as to the subject’s fate.

Call Sign: Leo, the Lion

Primary Skills: Hand Weapon, Smooth Talking, Strategy

Quote: "We will make the weak stronger and the strong even more so. We are the leaders among our people, balancing power with responsibility. See through our noble eyes and know the natural order of things. We test the strengths and weaknesses of all things. All around us are pushed beyond their limits so they can make themselves better than they ever were before."

The Intellectuals

The Intellectuals are dedicated to knowledge. They study the actions and weaknesses of their enemies, make plans for the future of the Immortals, and are responsible for the teaching, guidance and education of both mortal and Immortal societies.

Emissary

Creating balance and fairness, the Emissaries are the peacemakers and peacekeepers of the Perpetual Society. They are excellent negotiators and arbiters in any situation. Emissaries are ambassadors: they negotiate, grant concessions, gain power, prestige and resources for their allies through treaties. An Emissary is a walking cup-bearer of peace, and the messenger who delivers decrees of war, thus a court will stand still and silent when an Emissary enters the room, for he carries the words of powerful allies and rivals alike. If an Emissary cannot tell the truth, he will not speak. Truth is everything to an Emissary.

Call Sign: Libra, the Scales

Primary Skills: Acting, Etiquette, Smooth Talking.

Quote: "We balance all things. We create fairness and peace among those around us .The water flows smooth and peaceful, and we maintain that. Listen to our words, learn to speak, and to see the scales never tipped unfavourably. An even hand is dealt to all by us, and all come away knowing they have gained and not lost."

Mentor

The most civilized of the Callings, the Mentors are the intellectuals and scholars among the Society. They spread the path of knowledge to all, simply for the love of doing so. Probably the most human of the Callings, they are dedicated to teaching others. They focus on finding young Immortals who are just learning their true natures and bringing them into the fold of Immortal society. Patience is everything to a Mentor.

Call Sign: Aquarius, the Water Bearer

Primary Skills: Any one Scholastic or Artistic skill, Instruction, Research/Investigation.

Quote: "We know all, dispensing knowledge from the Cup of Memory as water to a parched throat. We are the scholars who teach and the intellectuals who are taught. Come be with us and learn what it is to be Immortal. All are sent to us, so that they may be educated in some way, in some skill, knowledge or profession. Our Calling hears the path of the teacher and heeds it, but never do we forget that we too were once students."

Profiler

Working through facts and figures for the truth "behind" the truth, the Profilers are studious and analytical. They are experts at extracting facts from details. They always seek an answer.

Profilers are driven by the need to solve mysteries. Whenever a mystery confronts the Immortal society, it is a Profiler who is sent to investigate. They are only interested in facts, not supposition, and are ruled by deduction, not intuition. Often their enhanced abilities allow them to spot clues even rigorous search has left uncovered. If not for the work of Profilers, the Sanguinary would be much more deeply entrenched within Immortal society. Facts are everything to Profilers.

Call Sign: Virgo, the Maiden

Primary Skills: Investigation, Notice, Questioning.

Quote: "We analyse the facts and figures and find the truth behind the truth. If something is amiss, we find the correction for it. Dissect the universe with us, and let your mind see all that you have missed. We take all available material and come to the best conclusion possible at all times. From the most minute details we gain the facts that speak the truth."

The Manipulators

The Manipulators are a group that would not have much purpose in mortal society. However, they are necessary for the survival of the Immortals. The Manipulators are responsible for divining and, to whatever extent is possible, channelling the future actions of the Sanguinary and Its minions, as well as keeping the Sanguinary from learning their plans. On a more practical level, they are also responsible for keeping mortals unaware of the Immortal society that exists around them.

Chameleon

Sometimes sneaky, always unpredictable, the Chameleon is the Calling of movement, communication and change. Chameleons love to change others perceptions of them and get away with things. Therefore, they are natural spies, shape-shifting masters of disguise and guile. They can mimic others and get close to any target, either to gather information, plant misinformation, or gain trust.

Before joining this Calling, a Chameleon must first search a compatible partner. A complex and mystical ritual then transforms the two into twins, identical in every way. Not only are the perfect physical and mental copies who can function as each other, but they are probably the only being each will ever be close to, for the Chameleon’s reputation as a deceiver and a betrayer leaves few opportunities for making friends. Guile is everything for a Chameleon.

Call Sign: Gemini, the Twins

Primary Skills: Acting, Notice, Stealth.

Quote: "We think, sometimes so much, that we are of two minds. Our thoughts are always in motion, planning, staying one step ahead of those around us. Spend time in our labyrinth and master the true power of communication. For the more we say and do, the more we change your perceptions of us. Ever changing, we are swifter than the wind, and one step ahead of those around us."

Empath

Always seeking to better themselves materially and socially, the Empaths are master jugglers and manipulators. Excellent at covering not only their own tracks, but the tracks and traces of others. They are master controllers, translating a comprehensive knowledge of people and their environment into master programs of control and manipulation. Theirs is among the most mysterious and feared of Callings because no one ever knows truly where he stands with an Empath, or what forces he might secretly be wielding to alter and direct a foe’s behaviour. Empaths often use their abilities to confound human authorities and conceal the existence of Immortals, or to orchestrate the downfall of another Immortal. They will not hesitate to use their knowledge of an opponent to control him. Cleverness is everything to an Empath.

Call Sign: Capricorn, the Chimera

Primary Skills: Brainwashing, Seduction, Smooth Talking.

Quote: "We use all we need to maintain that which has been accomplished. You see only what we wish you to see, because we are the master manipulators, juggling your perceptions of reality. Try and find us, and learn that we change what is around us, as opposed to changing ourselves. We deal the hand that you play… are you sure you are actually holding any cards?"

Mystics

The dream travellers known as Sleepers form this Calling. Viewed as visionaries and shamans, many carry a strong artistic presence. Always seeking to forge new ground and vision, Mystics are mysterious and surreal: they live in the world of dreams, entering into the collective human subconscious where the Sanguinary plots Its resurrection and the destruction of the Immortals. It is here, in Its lair, that they create dream fortresses, the advanced bases of their counter-attack. From these fortresses, they launch pre-emptive strikes against the Sanguinary, hoping to disrupt Its schemes and prevent Its rebirth.

Mystics often speak in riddles and metaphors because their minds are so steeped in the constantly shifting landscape of the dream world. An open and receptive mind is everything to a Mystic.

Call Sign: Pisces, the Fishes.

Primary Skills: Occult Knowledge, Myth and Legend, Trance.

Quote: "We believe in things that most cannot even imagine. We are the mystics and the shamans, reaching out to people and places most believe to be mere fantasy. Roam the dreampaths with us, and learn to be unhindered by the constraints so many place upon themselves. We forge a crown made of Essence, freed from more material beliefs.”

The Soldiers

Soldiers are the troops of the Immortals. They engage in offensive and defensive battles, ranging from small commando raids to large-scale actions. Some specialize in group tactics while others are loners. They are equally capable of functioning as a bludgeon or a scalpel. All military commanders come from the ranks of the Soldiers, though the rely heavily on information from other Callings.

Guardian

The most maternal of the Callings, and one of many teachers and healers, the Guardians are the protectors and keepers. They always lend themselves to those in need.

Guardians protect things of value, whether people, places or things, therefore, they are also called Keepers. They are superb bodyguards and close-in fighters and are often dispatched into the mortal world to safeguard a human who has been foreseen to be of great value to the Immortals. Vigilance is everything to a Guardian.

Call Sign: Cancer, the Crab.

Primary Skills: Guns (or Hand Weapon), Brawling, Notice.

Quote: "We feel your fear, but harm will not befall you while with us. Nurturing, Healing, Protection; these are what you will receive from those of our kind. We are the most maternal of the Callings, and few do we turn away when they are in need. Be safe with us and we will teach you how to grow. You will be defended until you are strong enough to defend yourself."

Scourge

Seeking Justice, the Scourge is ever vigilant and perceptive. Very little passes by their notice, be it a sneaking thief, a light scent on the air, of a lie. Seekers of insurrection and treason, these they cannot tolerate. The Scourge Calling attracts the most perceptive Immortals as little is hidden from them, for Scourges are truth-seers, able to detect lies. Their reputation for being dispassionate and incorruptible is legendary, and their alien, emotionless quality makes them both respected and feared throughout Immortal society. A visit from a Scourge always means an investigation and usually means someone will take a fall. They are used by the Courts to root out insurrection and treason in the ranks, and to pass judgement. Justice is everything to a Scourge.

Call Sign: Scorpio, the Scorpion

Primary Skills: Investigation, Notice, Questioning.

Quote: "We desire justice, no matter the cost. We seek to find new things in that which has already been searched. See the world anew through our eyes and cleanse the corruption from your own soul. The means may not always 'seem' just, but we do not tolerate corruption in any form. We are the most vigilant, the most watchful of all."

Slayer

The hunt, though not always to the death, is the Slayer's domain, as they are superb and patient stalkers. These are the sportsmen, competitors and outdoorsmen. With a preference for long ranged weapons, few prey escape them. These are the warriors of the Perpetual Society: whether they are gladiators, assassins, or bounty hunters, their methods are direct and often lethal. Slayers are dispatched against enemies of the Immortals, whether those are humans who have learned too much and cannot be reasoned with, or minions of the Sanguinary Itself. Duty – though often unpleasant – is everything for a Slayer.

Call Sign: Sagittarius, the Centaur.

Primary Skills: Hand Weapon (or Gun), Martial Arts, Tracking.

Quote: "We understand all prey, the call of the hunter's horn is ours to command. The ultimate competitors pale before us as we seek the challenge of the hunt. Track with us, and learn to run down all adversaries that are put before you. Do not be on the other end of our weapons of range, you will not escape, not matter the distance."

Courts

If the Callings are the heart and soul of Perpetual Society, then the Courts are the foundations upon which it is based. Each of the Courts, which represent an ideological/political affiliation, claims a determined sphere of influence and aspect of reality (both in Immortal and human society) they work with. There are many Courts, but only seven currently count as the greater Courts due to their size and sphere of influence. From these Courts (but not necessarily the same Court), Immortals come together into Pantheons. The Pantheons in ancient mythical times represented the various groupings of Gods that one was most familiar with, such as the Egyptian, Greek, Norse, etc., which were all Pantheons of Immortals. In recent years, the word started designating smaller groups of Immortals gathered to either fulfil a task given by the Perpetual Society or even a gathering of very close friends and allies, which act together – such as a Main Cast. Immortals choose their Court based on their strongest connections to reality.

The Court of Death

This Court is in charge of probing the mysteries of death, whether it involves delving into Death Realms politics, or destroying rampaging undead. Among their duties is the task of convincing mortal spirits who cling to the physical world to pass beyond, for those that resist this journey can become targets for creatures that seek to devour their Essence.

The Court also attempts to rescue the souls that have been taken from the still living and claimed by the Sanguinary and her forces. Just as often that it is thought the Courts of Life and Death might oppose one another, they also work together in situations such as these.

The Court maintains extensive reach in the more gothic cultures, but this is, by far, not the only place they can be found. Many of the world's oldest cities have a large history and their fill of the wandering dead. Here the Court keeps a watchful eye on the many places of hauntings and lost souls (including some Immortal souls that have not yet returned to physical form), that tend to exist in these larger older cities and places. The Court of Spirits (as this Court is sometimes nicknamed) seeks to prevent the destruction and defaction of the human soul. Though the guises of Grim Reapers and Lords of the Underworld have not been entirely abandoned by the Court, this is not what they are about. The Court maintains a strong vigil over Malkuth, where they sometimes travel to. They can be also be found in places where Rentless Dead, Ghosts or Phantasms tend to appear. When they find them, they attempt to help them finish whatever is holding them here, or, if necessary, to remove them from this plane permanently.

Famous members have included Hela, Hades, Anubis, and Rashnu among others.

Dominance: Immortals from the Court of Death gain +2 bonus to any skill test while in a cemetery, funeral, hospital or other place where death is reverently observed. During festivals or holidays dedicated to the observance of death or the dearly departed, the character gains the bonus dominance for the whole day while near to observers of the event.

The Court of Desire

The Court of Desire is concerned with the endless study of the desires and emotions that obsess mortals. By understanding the nature of these, the Court hopes to seduce the Sanguinary Itself to Its doom, by overloading it with the totality of mortal desires and emotions, rending it apart with intense pleasure and pain.

Members of the Court seek out and tempt mortal allies to their cause, while working to break addictions created by the Sanguinary within individuals who might cause harm to the Perpetual Society. Many a small war has been fought between the Progeny and the Court of Desire over the life of single powerful mortal, pulling at desires at either end. Others, more daring, make it their duty to break addictions within the Immortal minions of the Sanguinary, although success in this area has been severely limited. The Sanguinary's use of the temptations of greed, lust, avarice, and so on, in Its evil plans has given it a strong hold on its servants.

Members of this Court can be found in all walks of life, dealing in most any type of situation imaginable. They are quite prominent in the arts, music, and other forms of mortal culture. From the peaks of mortal High Society, to the darkest recesses of the various counter-cultures, the members of the Court work to turn mortals away from the thrall of the Progeny. As part of their work, members of the Court are continually assaulted by a variety of sensations, which has given them a reputation as being some of the strongest willed amongst the Perpetual Society. The Court maintains a strong watch over its members so they do not fall to the temptations they flirt daily with.

Members will usually pick one or two specific desires, emotions, etc. to work with, though all work towards becoming versed in as many as possible in order to resist the temptations that they are presented with during their work.

More famous members include Ishtar, Dhamballa, and Rati.

Dominance: Immortals from the Court of Desire gain +2 bonus to any test involving the manipulation of desires and emotions used while in a place that cultivates them, such as dance clubs, intimate vacation spots, fine restaurants, and casinos.

The Court of Dreams

The Court of Dreams is dedicated to warfare against the Sanguinary within its own lair, the Dreamlands. Here, where humans face the constant onslaught of alien, psychological forces, the Dreamers are rescuers, teachers, defenders and companions to those whom reality has forsaken. These dreamers understand the nature of the world of dream, and the fact the Sanguinary’s spirit moves through the subconscious of the human race. By teaching humans to dream of the Court’s own realm, the Dreamtime, which is connected to the Sephiroth of Hod, the Immortals increase the size of their domain and shrink the domain of the Sanguinary. Once the Sanguinary exists in only a small number of minds, they hope to destroy this small, insane population and thus destroy their enemy.

As the smallest of the nine, this Court has some of the most awesome responsibility within the Perpetual Society. While other Courts have Mystics, it is the Court of Dreams that remains on nearly constant vigil against the threat the Sanguinary poses in the subconscious mind of humanity.

Immortals of this Court push humans to be as creative as possible, sharpening and honing their minds so they can withstand the onslaught of the Sanguinary and her minions. Still others serve to warn mortals of danger to themselves, or to help them achieve goals through visions and daydreams as well.

Famous members include Cerebus, Selene, and Njirana.

Dominance: Immortals from the Court of Dreams gain +2 bonus to any test made while in the dream world itself, or within a quiet place where people are sleeping. However, they do not get dominance in or during nightmares since the Sanguinary or its followers cause the majority of these.

The Court of Fate

The Court is fascinated with time -- past, present and future. Though travel through time is not possible, the Court learns about the possible future from the permutations of the past, and the divergences of the present. They actually exert their own forces to change the possible outcomes of the future. Their overall purpose is to change the future, through the fulfilment of their own prophecies, to one where the Sanguinary is no longer a threat. The Court is the heart of a prophecy that guides the whole of Immortal Society. This prophecy, which is self-created, concerns the rise of the Sanguinary and the final war that will take place in the real world. They wish to change the future, not predict it. The Court wields mystical control over probability and chance, and is fascinated by luck and studies it tirelessly as well. They are unable to often resist the temptation of participating in games of chance.

On a daily basis, the Court does not involve itself as heavily with individual mortals as most of the other Courts do. When they do choose to do so, the mortal usually has a heavy importance in upcoming events or is being used as a pawn by agents of the Sanguinary. Normally the Court provides subtle and gentle pushes and nudges to help direct events in directions that are beneficial to the Courts. The changing of stoplight a few seconds earlier than normal can have an incredible impact on the next few minutes or immediate future. It is their ability to look at not only the past, but also the myriad of possible permutations of the future as well that makes them seem so enigmatic and sometimes alien to the rest of the Courts.

Interestingly enough, the Court is not only interested in pure facts and probabilities. Legends and Lore are also part of their repertoire. It has been said that the Court only looks to what is relevant, and most forget that the machines of propaganda can be just as relevant as pure facts. The Court of Fate is known for spreading false rumours and propaganda to confound and confuse the Progeny and other enemies of the Perpetual Society, and lead them away from the plans and work of the other Courts.

Famous members include Anansi, Tyche, Pythia, and Lilith.

Dominance: Immortals from this Court gain +2 bonus skill whenever they use a skill to influence chance or probability directly. This situation occurs quite frequently with any kind of gambling, where the legends of the Courts of Fate and Desire playing for the fate of something or someone very important sprang from.

The Court of Life

The Court of Life’s purpose is basic—the preservation of all life and the destruction of all forces which threaten life. Most prized in their eyes is the life of the innocent, which they preserve with fanatical fervour. While the Court understands that life does end, the taking of life before its time is something that they abhor. The Court of Life will not hesitate to intervene to save a life, even if it’s a suicide, and on occasion, has come into conflict with the Court of Death whose knowledge of individuals and their relation to death are clearer.

The Court of Life is less philosophically opposed to technology than they are to industry, which often neglects the environment and the health of the creatures therein. Because of this fact, they sabotage industry constantly. The desecration of Earth's wildlife and lands fuels the Sanguinary's power and takes more inspiration, hope, and freedom from humanity as those places they may escape to from time to time slowly vanish. But as the natural resources of

Earth have dwindled, they have also learned to adapt to the concrete jungles of the cities of man. All members of the Court of Life have that slightly animalistic flair to them, if not in behaviour, than in look. There is also something noble about it as well.

Where the Court of Death protects the Souls of those living on Earth, the Court of Life are the defenders of Earth's own soul as it were. For every member that one can picture involved in saving the whales and working in Greenpeace, there is an eco-terrorist, an outdoor sportsman, an agricultural specialist, and a corporate raider. All work towards the same goal, the preservation of Earth by defending life.

This is not to say that the Court does not understand the concept of death or killing however. The Court does not judge the value of an individual life unless that life threatens the lives of others. Members hunt the concrete jungle looking for Droves entering a city, and then find their havens outside the cities and destroy them. They work to introduce programs that keep a city alive, rather than a steel and concrete prison for humanity. They have also learned to join in with other Courts who hunt those humans that have become corrupted and too dangerous to the rest of humanity.

Famous members have included Isis, Freya, Brigit, Dagda and Susanoo.

Dominance: Immortals from the Court of Life gain a +2 bonus to all tests when in places where birth or renewal flourishes, including maternity wards in hospitals, completely unspoiled wilderness, preservation parks, etc.

The Court of Making

The Court of Making is devoted to the destruction of weakness and the perfection of form. To this end it seeks to rid the world of any weaknesses that the Sanguinary might try to exploit during the final war. One way is through the wishgiving ability of the Elemental members, focused by the faith of mortals – making wishes come true and opening the mind to real possibilities is a large part of what the Court is all about. They rescue people from despair and empower them to become mighty warriors for the human race.

The Court is also very focused upon technology and the ways it can be made to serve mankind and Immortal alike. Many want humans to abandon natural organic systems in preference for superior techno-organic android forms and perhaps reject the Sanguinary’s presence, in the meantime.

The Court works in a variety of medical fields, both biological, technical and psychological, and there they find ways to turn humanity away from those things the Progeny uses to weaken them.

This Court is also versed in human technology, finding ways to use this to strengthen and inspire humanity in both mind and body.

Famous members include Lug, Tlaloc, Tvashtri and Agni.

Dominance: Immortals from the Court of Making gain a +2 to all tests when in places where building and design are in full swing, especially if the project is particularly inspired. Places of mundane toil, such as factories, do not count as part of this category.

The Court of Secrets

The Court investigates all the creative works of man, art, literature, media, etc., as the writer, the artist, the filmmaker, all in committing their prose or brush, unwittingly reveal information about themselves, and within these are patterns, which the Court discovered long ago. Because the Sanguinary exists in the dreams of humans, and because creative works are derived from the imagination, often inspired by dreams, these patterns have been found to partially originate from the Sanguinary herself. By careful study and comparison, the Court hopes that it can devise the ultimate weapon against the Beast… its true name. With this name they hope to gain absolute power over it, breaking its tyranny for all time and using it as a force for good, or if this is not possible, destroy it. Day to day activities revolve around collecting and studying books, art and other recordings and media for possible plans of the Sanguinary and its minions. When they find out about these plans, they attempt to divert those plans and foil them. Objects that inspire humans often contain residual imbedded Essence. The Court seeks to keep such objects out of the hands of other Immortals who would just as soon drain the relics than preserve them. To this end they scour the planet looking for original works, and now possess the largest art and literature collection in existence.

A great number of Profilers belong to this Court, as well as the Callings of Mentor, and Chameleon. However, one should be warned that this Court has its fair share of Slayers and Guardians as well. This Court has at times gone to great and dangerous lengths to obtain materials that the Progeny would rather not fall into the hands of the Perpetual Society. The Court also watches over those who have a high degree of natural creativity, and thus watch over many talented artists in many fields. The Progeny sometimes attempt to either corrupt their talent, or to feed false information through them to the Courts, as was done before.

A great deal of not only scholars, but also those possessed of alternative wisdom and trickery also populates this Court.

Famous members include Thoth, Hermes, Ganesh, and Shoten.

Dominance: Immortals from the Court of Secrets gain a +2 bonus to all tests when in places where knowledge is sought, including libraries, universities and other epicentres of academia, or a +2 bonus to any skill tests involving Scholastic skills.

The Court of Shadows
(The Shadowen)

The Court of Shadows, above all, is the police for the Society. They enforce the law known as the Silence, which prohibits Immortals from revealing themselves to the general mortal population in any way. Too often trusted mortals have turned out to be unwitting servants of the Sanguinary, and many an Immortal has been taken by the Sanguinary, from misplaced trust. By keeping humanity ignorant of the Immortals, the Court believes this will give them an advantage in the final war. Court sifts through these trying to understand the Sanguinary for a means to more easily defeat it. In the shadows is inspiration of many terrible thoughts within the human race.

The Court of Shadows fears that the human race may be doomed because of its symbiotic relationship with the Sanguinary. Humans that are deemed too powerful with the ability and knowledge to spread the secrets of, or challenge the security of the Perpetual Society, are considered a danger. Unless a member of another Court can quickly find a way to salvage the situation, the human is hunted down and slain by a Triad (the Shadowen tend to operate in teams of three). This has brought them, on occasion, into philosophical conflict with the other Courts.

The Shadowen are easily the smallest Court, second only to the Court of Dreams. The Court is unique in that they are almost all shadow elementals, and even they do not understand or know the process by which the Abzulim created them, as no shadow elementals seem to come about as newborns at all.

A strange affinity with the darker side of humanity plagues most Shadow Himsatis, and therefore the Court does not interact largely with the mortal population, as they rely on closer bonds with individual mortals rather than working in the mainstream population of humanity.

Instead, taking lessons from their own misguided past, they strive to maintain peace amongst the members of the Perpetual Society and act as enforcers of the laws of the Society.

More Scourges can be found amongst the Shadowen than any other Court. The groups of three known as triads are the preferred working method of the Court when possible. The members develop close bonds with each other, as close as any mortal family would. They watch out for each other, and take care of each other. In this way, corruption by the Sanguinary is more difficult.

Famous members include Nemesis, Arshianna and Sraosha.

Dominance: Immortals from the Court of Shadows gain a +2 bonus to any test when in places of extreme darkness, very dim or with a complete absence of light. This makes them especially powerful at night when there is heavy cloud cover, or no moon, or in windowless buildings.

The Court of War

The Court of War's purpose is clear. One of the goals of the Sanguinary is the destruction of the human soul. To this end the Sanguinary fosters many of the human conflicts of today, from wars to gang violence. The Courts goal is to intervene and stop the Sanguinary from turning humanity into one large soulless army against the Immortals. The Court exists as the front line against the Sanguinary, sacrificing themselves fanatically for the good of all Immortals.

Whenever a minion of the Sanguinary is revealed, these Immortals race to intercept and destroy it. The Court are all fighters with a deep love of freedom and feel that humanity has no right to be enslaved by the Sanguinary or even other Immortals. To this end you can find the members of this Court involved in all aspects of human conflict, from Third World Countries at war, to guerrilla warfare, vigilantes against gang violence, and even the war on drugs.

The Court tends to take extreme measure when necessary, only rivalled by the Court of Shadows in how far they are willing to go to stop the corrupted.

The Court has a deep-seated belief in personal freedom, and the freedom to make choices and not be influenced as the Sanguinary influences humanity through fear and manipulation. Furthermore, they are the ones who take the most direct and proactive hand in stopping many of the Sanguinary's plans. They are called upon to assist in destroying Droves, corrupted spirits, Progeny and all other enemies of the Perpetual Society.

The Soldier Callings are strong here but all Callings are needed in this Court to win its war against the Sanguinary. The Court is quick to lend a hand to members of the other Courts in gathering intelligence, training, decoding missives between Progeny members, hunting enemies of the Society, or any other activity that will seek to end a plot of the Sanguinary. The Court of War is the front line against the Sanguinary, and with devotion unheard of, will sacrifice themselves if it will stop the Sanguinary from enslaving another group of mortals.

The Court also spends a great deal of time teaching philosophical beliefs, self-discipline, harmony of the mind and body, etc. They are a great force in the martial arts world and are very proactive backers of the sports and physical fitness communities. Being in good shape both mentally, physically and spiritually is important to the members of the Court.

Members also keep a close eye on arms dealers, drug cartels, and other large organized groups of mortals that can be easily swayed by the Progeny. In addition, the Explorer Calling in the Court spends a great deal of time seeking out lost territories that have been claimed by the Abzulim or Progeny and conquering them, taking them back for the Courts.

Famous members have included Ares, Mjolnir, Caliburn, Tyr, Hachiman and Nuada.

Dominance: Immortals from the Court of War gain a +2 bonus to any test when in places where highly emotional conflict, a struggle for life and death against an enemy, comes into play, or a +2 bonus to any test involving a Combat or Military skill. However, they do not gain dominance in conflict they instrument or during conflicts that have little impact (such as two children fighting in a playground). This makes them effective as long as the conflict is clearly physical.

Chapter 5 - Metaphysics

Chapter Five: Metaphysics

 

 

Shadows. They grow deeper as I walk down the beach. The ocean, the symbol of eternity, licks the shore in relentless hunger. The moon hides her face. The pain has been growing sever. I’m using it to find him, to get nearer to him. If he’s alive, I’ll kill him. If he’s dead, I’ll…

He’s not dead.

I feel dizzy. As I start to stagger I feel the surf wash over my feet. A sudden stab of pain punches through my stomach. I double over. I retch. Gold surges out of my throat and hisses as it sinks into the cold water. I cry out and fall to my knees. Wave after wave after wave of agony pounds through my body, like this relentless ocean. I clench my jaws closed. I clench my teeth so hard a pain springs up from between my eyes…

“Open your mouth, whore!” the blacksmith mutters, grimacing as he pinches both sides of my jaw. I fight to keep them clenched, blood running down my cheek. The King stands by, his eyes gleaming with amusement. His white teeth shine in the firelight. Perfect teeth, so rare for this age. The Bright Blood courses through his whole being. Another forceful slap causes my ears to ring. Now the Blacksmith is fumbling for a tool to pry my mouth open. “My lord,” he snarls. “I’ll smash out her teeth and then open it.’

“Not necessary.” The King smiles. He walks over and touches my throat where a necklace containing my vox is suspended. I struggle all the more as his fingers caress the hard crystalline reed. I feel that touch through my whole being. There are a hundred hands stroking me, inside and out, but all are just a single hand touching the core of Me. The Vox. The part of me I most hate and most love.

“I wish…” he whispers, gripping the vox between his thumb and index finger, massaging it.

“NO!” I scream, feeling the vox respond to him, feeling my innate power creeping up out of me and spinning around his arm.

“I wish for you to open your mouth as wide as you can, and keep it open until the sun rises,” he intones.

Silence falls.

There is a pause as reality takes a breath. Then, the power responds. My mouth opens, expanding to its furthest limits. My muscles relax. I am paralysed by his symbiosis with me, his control of my power.

“Bring her reward,” he motions, tracing a finger around my lips.

I see them coming. It takes three of them to heft the cauldron. I feel its heat as it grows closer, see molten gold slop over the edge as one of them stumbles. Terror rises in me. Voices scream in my mind, other parts of me buried in this new identity.

“A woman, Immortal or no, should know how to keep her place,” he says in a conversational tone. Not you. Dabbler in enchantments and treachery. You tried to own the heart of the High King and failed. You couldn’t even win the heart of the King’s servant. You want your gold? Let it not be said my word is not good to even the lowest whore in the land. My word, like my justice, will outlive me. Make sure she gets all of her payment!”

I cannot forget the sight of the gold. Bright, flowing, gold as the blood of the sun pouring into my throat, down into my stomach.”

“Curse you, witch.” He murmurs. “Curse you to the hell of your own greed.”

It pours.

It pours.

It

P

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Introduction

All Immortals still possess many of the old powers they wielded when mankind worshipped them as gods and legends. Power to destroy and heal with but a touch (and a generous expenditure of Essence). The powers inherent to Immortals belong to two separate categories: Natures and Serenades. Each represents the dichotomy Himsati Immortals are – part beast (even those made from the elements), part alien intelligence. The first are the Natures, special abilities granted by an Immortal’s original form, which appear are claws, fangs, wings, among others. The second are the Serenades, music created by the vibration of the Vox within the Immortal’s throat – which allow him to alter reality with a song.

Natures

Natures are the heritage an Immortal has from his original form, and the capabilities it had (most of the time, much superior to those of humans). They are activated without the need for a test or Essence expenditure – the Immortal only needs to shapeshift (partially) to activate any number of Natures – that only costs him one action. Shifting back is slightly more complicated, since it demands a Simple Intelligence Test for all activated Natures, or the same test with a –1 penalty for each activated Nature if the Immortal tries to revert from all natures at the same time (see p. xx for more information on shapeshifting).


General Natures

Alternative Language (Type), Commune With Species (Type), Terrible Countenance, Natural Weaponry (Type).

Elemental Natures

Wishgiving, Synthesis (Type).

Natural Natures

Balance, Beauty.

Type-specific Natures
Air Elemental: Blur, Deafen, Discorporate Form, Flight, Poison.
Amphibian / Reptile: Aquatic, Camouflage, Mesmerize, Poison, Regrowth.
Bird: Deafen, Enhanced Senses, Flight, Haste, Mimicry.
Earth Elemental: Armour, Blur, Burrowing, Charge, Discorporate Form.
Fire Elemental: Bioluminescence, Beauty, Blur, Haste, Mesmerize.
Insect / Arachnid: Clinging, Blood Drain, Flight, Multiple Limbs, Poison.
Mammal: Armour, Charge, Blood Drain, Enhanced Senses, Estrus.
Marine Animal: Aquatic, Bioluminescence, Breathe Water, Echo Location, Multiple Limbs.
Plant: Armour, Burrowing, Clinging, Poison, Synthesis (Earth).
Shadow Elemental: Blur, Clinging, Discorporate Form, Flight, Haste.
Water Elemental: Aquatic, Armour, Beauty, Breathe Water, Discorporate Form.

Natures Description

The following Natures are organized alphabetically, and each includes a description of the Nature as well as the system rules for using it. To know if a Himsati form has access to a Nature or not, check on the charts above.

Some Natures are upgradeable; therefore they can be increased like a skill. When such is the case, it will be indicated next to the name of the Nature. During Character Creation, it is possible to purchase more Natures with either Metaphysical or Memory Points – each point in a Nature costs 5 points per level. Afterwards, the cost to increase a Nature is the same in Memory points, but it costs the next level x 5 Experience Points (raising a Nature from 3 to 4 costs, therefore, 20 XPs). Purchasing a new Nature costs 30 XPs.

Alternative Language (Type): Upgradeable

The character produces a form of communication other than the normal sonic forms. Examples include pheromones (odour), colour shifting of the skin, highly evolved body language, or subsonic vocals. This form of language cannot be deciphered by anyone who does not possess an equal or superior level in this specific Nature, or a superior level in the Enhanced Senses Nature (the sense must match the language type).

Starting Level: 5 skill levels. Each upgrade adds +3 to the skill rating.

Aquatic

The Immortal ignores all penalties caused by water or by being underwater, and is also immune to deep-sea pressure while using this Nature.

Armour: Upgradeable

This Nature protects the Immortal in the same way as normal armour. It may show up as anything, from a layer of fur and fat, to a chitinous layer, to actual stone.

Starting Level: 1
1 – Leather Jacket: 1D4
2 – Leather Armour: 1D6 + 1
3 – Class I Armour: 1D6 + 7
4 – Class II Armour: (1D6 x 2) + 14
5 – Class III Armour: (1D8 x 3) + 18
6 – Class IV Armour: (1D8 x 5) +20

Balance

Immortals with this Nature disregard all penalties related to balance and poor footing, such as being or fighting in narrow ledges, etc.

Beauty: Upgradeable

Everyone in view of this Immortal is awed by his presence and beauty. Therefore, anyone attempting to directly harm him must pass a Difficult Willpower test (with –1 penalty for each level the character possesses in this nature).

Starting Level: This Nature grants +5 to both Attractiveness and Charisma per level. Each upgrade adds a +5 bonus.

Bioluminescence

The Immortal’s body glows brightly, both blinding his opponents and negating all darkness-related penalties.

System: When this nature is used to blind someone, everybody around the Immortal must pass a Difficult Constitution Test, or be blinded during (5 – Constitution) turns (minimum 1 turn). After that, and for the remainder of the scene, all sight-related Perception Tests are made with a –3 penalty.

Blood Drain: Upgradeable

Many creatures feed on the blood of others. Some do it for the nutrients; others can taste the fear in their prey. This Nature is used as weapon Nature, but it can be used to get a quick “fix” of Essence (in a Vampyre-like manner – refer to the Mystery Codex p. 103, for more on the dangers – or benefits – of feeding from someone’s blood just in order to get at their Essence.)

System: In order for this to work, the Immortal but have immobilized his victim (if the victim is unwilling) the turn before. Then, the Immortal attempts to bite – he may now opt to deliver damage or to steal Essence (if the victim is human, she will receive damage from blood loss, however). Each turn the victim is allowed to make a resisted test against the Immortal, in order to get free. For each two points of damage that the victim would receive, the Immortal can instead get 1 Essence point straight to his Essence Pool. This is also one quick way for an Immortal to recover his Essence Pool after he became Tainted, due to Serenade use (see p. xx).

Starting Level: 1

1 – 1D4 x Strength damage / turn
2 – 1D6 x Strength damage / turn
3 – 1D8 x Strength damage / turn
4 – 1D10 x Strength damage / turn
5 – 1D12 x Strength damage / turn

Blur: Upgradeable

Anyone trying to detect or fight against the Immortal with this Nature has great difficulty to do so, as his form fades and loses definition.

System: Each upgrade on this Nature makes it harder to hit or even notice the Immortal with it, as each level gives a penalty to his opponent’s tests.

Starting Level: -1 to hit in combat, -2 to detect. Each further level adds a –1/-2 penalty.

Breathe Water

The Immortal can breathe underwater.

Burrowing

This Nature allows Immortals to move through the earth.

System: The Immortal moves through packed dirt at a speed equal to normal walking. It is also possible to burrow through harder substances, such as concrete or asphalt (Chronicler’s discretion). A burrowing Immortal could also carve out an underground cavern using this trait at a rate of one comfortable room per day.

Camouflage

Immortals with this Nature are extremely difficult to find as their skin changes colour and apparent texture to match their surroundings.

System: When in combat with an Immortal with this Nature, the opponent receives a –2 penalty (multiply the penalty by 2 for each range distance) to hit. If the Immortal is not making any aggressive actions, the penalty will be of –5 (still subject to increase due to distance), and if the Immortal is totally immobile, the penalty is of –10.

Charge: Upgradeable

Everything in the path of an Immortal with this Nature is promptly destroyed, as he rushes at full speed into the fray.

System: If a character with this Nature runs at full speed into combat, he can add additional damage from his charge. No weapons can be used, however. It is possible to charge again in later turns, but the character must withdraw at least 20 yards to do so.

Starting Level: 1
1 – 1D4 x Strength damage
2 – 1D6 x Strength damage
3 – 1D8 x Strength damage
4 – 1D10 x Strength damage
5 – 1D12 x Strength damage /

Clinging

Much like insects, spiders or even plants do, Immortals with this Nature can cling to walls and other vertical surfaces (or even upside-down horizontal surfaces), and move about without problems.

System: The Immortal may stick to walls and ceilings, and move at normal speed or even fight without penalties.

Commune With Species (Type)

The Immortal can engage in normal conservation and use all his social skills with other members of his Himsati type (animals, plants or elementals).

Deafen

With this Nature, the character unleashes a powerful roar or cry that startles his opponents.

System: Everyone around the Immortal must pass a Resisted Constitution test against the Immortal, or be dazed for (10 – Constitution) turns.

Discorporate Form: Upgradeable

The character can render himself into an unsolid form, be it liquid gas, light, shadow or some other intangible substance.

System: Since this form is intangible, only mystical artefacts, Serenades, Essence draining attacks or Attack Natures with a superior rating to this Immortal’s (such as Natural Weaponry) can truly hurt him.

Starting Level: 1 (only Attack Natures of level 2 can cause wounds).

Echo Location

This Nature rends the Immortal immune to any penalties that affect the senses, as long as his hearing is not impaired.

Enhanced Senses (Type): Upgradeable

Immortals with this Nature have particularly developed senses.

System: Each level in this Nature gives a +2 bonus to any Perception Tasks related to that sense.

Estrus: Upgradeable

After physically touching his target, the character can secretes a powerful aphrodisiacal pheromone that is chemically keyed to the target.

System: The target must make a Difficult Willpower test to resist carnal desires for the character. The character has not control over the target or how she will deal with her desires, however.

Starting Level: -1 penalty to the target’s Difficult Willpower Test. Each level in this Nature adds –1 to the penalty.

Flight

The character can fly (possible without wings, depending on the Himsati form) and fight without penalties while doing so.

Haste: Upgradeable

Characters with this Nature are quick-witted and fast on their feet, almost as if reacting by instinct to the danger even before it is there.

System: This Nature gives a bonus to the character’s Initiative.

Starting Level: + 2 to Initiative. Each further upgrade gives a cumulative +2 bonus to the Initiative Test.

Mesmerize: Upgradeable

An Immortal with this Nature can hypnotise with his eyes or body movement, making his victims to fall under a kind of stupor, which prevents her from taking any other action than to look at the Immortal.

System: By making a resisted Willpower Test against the victim, the Immortal can force her into doing nothing but stare at him. If the Immortal makes any aggressive or sudden gestures, however, the target is freed at once.

Starting Level: +1 Bonus to the Immortal’s Resisted Willpower Roll.

Mimicry: Upgradeable

This Nature allows the Immortal to recreate any sound he has heard, except Serenades.

System: Anyone listening to the Immortal must make a Resisted Intelligence Test with him, in order to realize she’s not listening to the real thing.

Starting Level: +1 Bonus to the Immortal’s Resisted Intelligence Test. Each further level adds +1 to the Bonus.

Multiple Limbs: Upgradeable

This Nature enables characters to sprout extra limbs when shapeshifting.

System: Each pair of limbs allows an extra action per turn. Of course, there is still an off-hand, which can be used normally with the same penalties of using an off-hand and multiple actions.

Starting Level: 1 extra pair of limbs. Each upgrade grants 1 extra pair of limbs.

Natural Weaponry (Type): Upgradeable

The Immortal’s body sprouts weapons: claws, fangs, a flame-engulfed limb or even a stone- or ice-formed blade.

System: These natural weapons vary accordingly to the Himsati form, and can be used together with Brawling or Martial Arts.

Starting Level: 1
1 – 1D4 x Strength lethal damage
2 – 1D4 x (Strength + 1) lethal damage
3 – 1D6 x Strength lethal damage
4 – 1D8 x Strength lethal damage
5 – 1D10 x Strength lethal damage

Poison (Type): Upgradeable

This Immortal has the capability of secreting a poisonous substance and using it against his foes.

System: The Immortal must choose how his poison is delivered (most commonly by wounding the opponent with Natural Weaponry or any other Himsati-enhanced attack ability; spat venom causes the damage per turn, but as soon as it is cleaned off, it stops having effect), then deliver it by the chosen means.

Level Damage Duration Poison Strength Constitution Penalty to Resist

1 1D4 2 days 1 -1

2 1D6 2 days 2 -2

3 1D8 1 days 3 -3

4 1D10 2 days 4 -4

5 1D12 5 days 5 -5

Regrowth

Even if an Immortal loses one or more of his limbs, they will grow back as soon as he recovers all his Life, Endurance and Essence points. With this Nature, however, the Immortal is able of doing it if he takes no action for an entire turn. This includes limbs grown by the Multiple Limbs Nature.

Synthesis (Type): Upgradeable

The character with this Nature has an element that accelerates his healing.

System: When in contact with his element of choice, the healing rates (for Endurance, Essence and Life points) will much faster.

Starting Level: 1
1 – 75% of the total time
2 – 50% of the total time
3 – 30% of the total time
4 – 20% of the total time
5 – 10% of the total time

Terrible Countenance: Upgradeable

The Immortal becomes terrible to gaze upon, inducing ancient fears of predatory creatures.

System: The target (can be more than one) must make a Resisted Willpower Test against the Immortal not to run away. When there are multiple targets, the one with highest Willpower makes the test.

Starting Level: -2 to the target’s test. Each additional level adds a -2 to the test.

Wishgiving

This Nature is always active, regardless of shapeshifting. It is only allowed to Elementals, however.

Elementals have trouble voicing their Serenades since their Vox is not within their bodies. An Elemental’s connection to his Vox is spiritual; therefore, he has the power to let humans voice their wishes through his Vox, just by touching it. An Immortal cannot use this Nature himself – it must be a mortal (not a Vampyre or a Demon) to do it.

System: The power and scope of a wish depends on the mortal’s Willpower rating, but it’s up to the Immortal whether to grant it or not. The Elemental must make a difficult Willpower test when creating the wish. On a final result of 1 or less, the wish is horribly distorted, maybe even becoming dangerous for both mortal and Immortal. Any other result means the wish is granted

Rating: Wish ranks go from 1 to 6, and are based solely on the mortal’s Willpower, as follows:
1 – Trivial (Willpower 1-2) – The wish creates a harmless special effect with no particular game effect. It is apparent only to those looking for an action or effect.
2 – Minor (Willpower 3-4) – The wish is invasive but ignorable. Increases existing penalties for the duration of a scene.
3 – Significant (Willpower 5) – The wish alters major setting details such as NPCs, props, possessions, the setting’s description or the Immortal himself. It is inconvenient but not often lethal. This change will usually last only to the end of the game session.
4 – Major (Willpower 6) – The wish alters major setting detail in potentially dangerous ways that may last for several sessions.
5 – Mythic (Willpower 7) – The wish changes the world in a notable and possible permanent way. A wish with mythic influence would include setting off a nuclear device in a population centre, or sending a computer virus to infect every computer in a continent.
6 – Godlike (Willpower 8) – The wish changes the world in an extreme manner, redefining what we know asreality. Examples include the erasing of the identify of a person from the minds and history books of the human race, bringing an imaginary character to life as a real person, or summoning a plague to spread through the entire world.

Serenades

When a shard of the Sanguinary invades a living thing, it enters a chrysalis stage and emerges as a reed-like organism, crystalline in form and indestructible: this is called a Vox. In the case of living things (the Naturals) the shard becomes a vocal chord the newly emerging Immortal can use to create mystic effects, a voice of power. Non-organic Immortals (the Elementals) can resonate their Vox from a distance since it remains always apart from them. It takes more effort for an Elemental to use their mystic voice, and they always have, therefore, a -2 penalty in each Serenade they perform.

Because the presence of the Vox telepathically opens the senses of the Immortals to the true nature of the universe, they use it to imitate the celestial din and thus shape the Essence matrix, very much like a Gifted does. Such is the origin of the serenade, the ability to change reality with a whisper, a muttered word, or a song. The discovery of this ability nearly destroyed the Immortals, as serenades became the ultimate weapon against each other during the Shouting War, a confrontation that nearly wiped out the entire Immortal race.

Unlike the Gifted, the Immortals do not have problems overcoming human disbelief, so they do not suffer from the crowd effect. However, altering reality does take its toll, and when an Immortal uses Serenades while on the Earth plane he can be sensed by anyone who is Essence-aware within a radius of 1 city block, approximately – which includes, of course, the servants of the Enemy.

Tainting and Sinning

There is an additional danger to using Serenades: Tainting – when an Immortal rolls a 1 on a Serenade Test, he immediately makes a new Serenade Test (without applying the Rule of 1). If the second test is successful, then the Serenade merely fails, as the Immortal is unable of shifting the Essence Matrix (no Dispel Task is necessary); but should the second test fail, then something goes wrong with the Serenade, to the point of warping reality – and backlashing on the Immortal – who is now Tainted. For each time this happens, the Immortal loses temporarily 1 Willpower point. Should an Immortal’s Willpower rating ever reach 0, he will not be able of performing Serenades until he has brought that attribute up to 1 at least. While an Immortal is Tainted, all the Sanguinary’s minions will feel it (and thus guess the Immortal’s true nature) while in his presence.

The only way to recover the lost Willpower rating and lose the Taint is by Sinning: stealing permanent Essence from willing (or unwilling) humans. When an Immortal Sins, he and the victim make a Resisted Willpower Test (if the victim is willing, then, the Immortal has a +3 bonus on the roll). For each Success Level the Immortal has above the victim, he receives 1 Essence Point, which, instead of going to his Essence Pool, starts feeding his depleted Willpower. Each 5 Essence Points retrieved thus give the Immortal minus one Taint level and one Willpower point.

Stealing Essence from a mortal (no matter how willing) is a terrible experience, for the Immortal is actually stealing part of the mortal’s soul. And reality exacts a price for that vile act: Curses. The more an Immortal Sins, the more strange things around or with him start to happen: mirrors break, statues cry tears of blood, thunder crashes when he speaks (see Appendix 2 for some more examples on Curses). The truth is that such Curses are very annoying and can even be dangerous for the Immortal and those around him. It’s up to the Chronicler to decide the seriousness of the Curse, and for how long it will plague the Immortal; usually, the Immortal suffers from a Curse for (1 + Stolen Essence Points) weeks (of course, some Immortals prefer to steal just a little Essence at a time and endure lesser Curses for shorter periods of time) – nonetheless, it is also possible for an Immortal to suffer from a Curse for years, decades and even centuries, if his Sinning was serious enough.

Using Serenades

Serenades are used much as any other Skills, by making a Serenade + Willpower Test. If the target of a Serenade is the Immortal himself, an inanimate object, or a spiritless creature (such as the Progeny), the test is made against a target number of 9 (the normal target number). If other kinds of creatures are being targeted – such as humans, vampyres, etc. – there are always Serenades that demand a Resisted Test between the two. When a target is willing, then, the difficulty to make the Serenade work on her is her Willpower Rating x 2. All Serenades are accompanied by “visual” effects that better suit the Immortal style, but that does not imply any necessary changes.

It is possible for Immortals to conduct group magic with Serenades – this is called a “Choir”. However, in order for an Immortal to participate in a Choir, he must know the Serenade, otherwise, he won’t be able of participating nor donating his Essence. The leader of the group magic is always the Immortal with the higher rating in the Serenade.

Abbadon

Example Effects: Lightning bolts, fireballs, legions of insects, spontaneous combustion, hoards of animals, etc.

The Immortal can hurl damaging energies at an opponent's Life or Essence Points, or even against an inanimate object.

System: For 5 Essence Points, the Immortal sends a wave of destructive energy, which causes D6 x Willpower Rating of the Immortal, with a reach of 10 yards (meters) per Willpower level. For 1 Essence Point, the Immortal can increase the reach and the Multiplier by 1. Attacking multiple foes costs plus 1 Essence per extra target.

Allure

Target Defence: Resisted Perception Test of the target against the Serenade Test.

The Immortal can create a variety of phantasmal effects that do not truly exist, and given enough skill and Essence, they can be even fully interactive (although no real damage can come from such an illusion). When trying to affect more than one people, the resisted test is made against the person with the highest Perception. This Serenade is particularly useful when Immortals need to run around carrying strange items such as swords and battleaxes.

System: Each Illusion costs 1 Essence Point per cubic foot, and lasts for 5 minutes, unless the Immortal pays for the cost multiple times, in order for it to last longer. The complexity of the illusion depends on the Essence invested on it – the final cost of the illusion is always calculated by multiplying the base cost by the correspondent multiplier.

Level:      Result:                                                          Multiplier:

0             Static; sensed by one sense only.                         1

1             Slightly mobile; sensed by two senses                  2

2             Moderately mobile, sensed by three senses          4

3             Mobile/slightly interactive; affects four senses       6

4             Moderately interactive; affects all five senses        8

5             Fully interactive                                                      10

Brio

Example Effects: Despair, hope, joy, love, fear, anger, jealousy, hate, happiness, sadness, greed, etc.

Target Defence: The target must pass a Difficult Willpower test, with a –1 penalty for each Success Level the Immortal achieved in the Serenade Test, in order not to be swept by his emotions.

The purpose of this Serenade is to alter and influence moods, emotions, feelings, etc. Please notice that this a subtle Serenade, since it cannot alter at a moment’s notice hatred to love, joy to despair and so on. It can however influence or increase feelings that already exist (envy can become hatred, for instances) or even to create them if the target isn’t feeling any particular emotion at the time (such as making someone dislike someone he has just met; it is not possible to make him hate the other, however).

System: This Serenade costs 1 Essence Point per target, if the target is already leaning towards that emotion; 2 Essence Points if he wasn’t feeling anything in particular, and 5 Essence or more if the target was feeling the exact opposite of what the Immortal wants him to feel.

Cantabile

This Serenade was created with a single purpose: counter-magic. With Cantabile, it is possible to unweave Spells, Miracles, etc. before they are cast, as long as they are targeting someone else than the caster (for instance, it is possible to counter the Miracle Holy Fire, but the Strength of Ten is not).

System: The Immortal must make a Serenade test against the opponent’s test (if no test is required for the power, then, the opponent makes a Simple Willpower Test, instead). If the Immortal manages to have a higher result, then, he effectively counters the magical effect and nothing happens.

Gremlin

This Serenade enables the Immortal to control inanimate objects such as computers, cars, ATM machines, bicycles, phones, locks, lights, cameras, doors, windows, etc., and forces it to do his bidding. The Immortal must consciously control this effect, using an action to force the inanimate to perform actions or (in the case of machines) to cause them to change actions. A bicycle could be made to go down the street on its own, or a microwave could suddenly turn on and activate at different temperatures. A television set could turn on and flip channels by itself. A computer could access the internet by itself and browse web pages and send email, just by the Immortal thinking about it. A lock could lock and unlock by mere thought. Ropes could untie themselves. However, objects under the control of Gremlin have no life of their own and can only function in ways they are meant to, so the Immortal must consciously direct the item. Items also cannot be forced to do things that their form and function don't normally allow. A toaster could not be used as a television set. Broken items can be made to work normally, (hence the strange view of a car going down the road on only 3 wheels but reacting as if it had all 4).

System: To control an inanimate object costs 5 Essence Points, multiplied by the complexity level multiplier. This power lasts for an entire scene.

Complexity: Type of Objects: Multiplier:

0 Simple items, no working parts 1

1 Mechanically complex items 2

2 Simple electric items 4

3 Electronic devices 6

4 Complex electronic devices with

internal systems 8

5 Very complex/large items with

many electronic devices 10

Iris

This Serenade allows an Immortal to work with senses other than their own. It does not create new ones, but simply borrows them from another being or object that was at a determined place. This can also be used by an Immortal to "leave" a number of senses in a location

System: Iris has a base cost of 5, but it must be multiplied by the due factor, depending on the distance (if the Immortal is leaving her senses behind) or time (if he is watching the past through another’s senses). This power lasts for an entire scene.

Level: Distance / Time: Multiplier:

0 Room / 1 day 1

1 Building / 1 month 2

2 City / 1 year 4

3 Region / 10 years 6

4 Country / 1 century 8

5 Otherworlds / 1 millennia 10

Malekin

Through this serenade the Immortal can control and command a spiritual being. There are many ways to do so, however – a spirit can be coerced or reasoned with, or even bribed. The Immortal must decide how he desires to act towards the spirit. Summoning and banishing spirits is also possible with this Serenade.

System: Summoning a Spirit costs 5 Essence Points plus 1/5 of the total Essence Pool of the Spirit (if the Spirit does not wish to be summoned, he may choose to resist, by making a Simple Willpower Roll against the Immortal’s Serenade Test). Banishing it (if the Immortal chooses to do it the “right” way) costs 1/3 of the Spirit’s Essence Pool – it can resist, however, with a Simple Willpower test. After summoning the Spirit, the Immortal states his request – from this point on, they can either enter an agreement, or the Immortal may try to force it: in both cases, the Immortal pays 10 Essence Points – if the spirit breaches the contract, he his banished instantly, and loses the 10 points, as well as 5 of his own – permanently. If the spirit resists, then there is a Resisted Willpower Test between the two – if the Immortal wins, he can command the spirit at will (less than self-harm or destruction) for a period of 1 + difference in the Success Levels hours. Afterwards, the Immortal should be ready for some retribution from an angry spirit (unless he can talk or cajole himself of it – of course, banishing the spirit is also an option).

Memoir

Target Defence: Resisted Simple Intelligence Test.

This serenade allows in Immortal to create, change, delete, or control thoughts. This does not control emotional reactions to those thoughts, nor feelings in any way. However, this serenade does not control the reaction to the new or changed thought. If someone's favourite colour is red and the Immortal changes it to blue, the target will have some amount of confusion why he suddenly has decided his favourite colour is blue.

System: Firstly, this power is never permanent – unless the Immortal constant adds Essence to the effect, the maximum this power will last is one year. Secondly, an Immortal can never order the target to cause serious harm to herself. And lastly, it is never possible to make someone forget something vital, such as breathing or eating.

To alter a simple thought (“My favourite colour is red”) costs 1 Essence point. More complex thoughts (“I don’t need to see your papers…”) cost 3 Essence points. Truly important thoughts go up to 5 Essence points (such as making a Gifted forget he can do magic). Multiplying the cost accordingly to the following chart can increase the duration of the effect:

Level: Time: Multiplier:

0 1 turn 1

1 1 hour 2

2 1 day 4

3 1 week 6

4 1 month 8

5 1 year 10

Nostrum

This enables an Immortal to heal damage done to a creature or object.

System: For each Essence point the Immortal spends, the healed creature recovers 1 Life Point. When repairing an object, each spent Essence Point returns +2 points to the Damage Capacity of the object. If in any case, a piece of the object (or person) is missing, the Immortal may opt to spend between 5 and 20 Essence points (depending on the size of the missing piece) to regrow a new one. However, the Serenade will last for at least one entire hour, instead of being instantly, as in the first case.

Orisha

This allows an Immortal to gain knowledge from possible the possible future – it is not precise, and often contradictory, as it presents one (or several) possible and probable futures

System: The Immortal must spend 5 Essence Points and enter a trance-like state (if he doesn’t have the Trance Skill, then he must make a Difficult Intelligence Test) and then roll for the Serenade. The higher the Success Level, the more exact and farther into the future the predictions will be. Of course, the Chronicler always decides what information to dispense.

Portal (Type)

Portal is a rare serenade, and one that Chroniclers should keep a careful watch on in their game. This serenade allows one to open passage into other "dimensions", as well as sense openings into those dimensions nearby and analyse them. A speciality must be chosen for each dimension that the song of

Portal will be used on. If one has the focus of mantles, than he cannot use portal to go into the Threshold, unless purchasing that speciality too.

System: When an Immortal is trying to open an existing portal, he must spend 25 Essence points and the portal will remain open for 1 minute per Success Level in the Serenade Test. When trying to travel through a portal, the Immortal must spend 20 Essence Points – for each person he wants to tag along, he must pay 10 extra Essence Points. It is also possible to close a portal, but both sides must make a Resisted Test. The Immortal uses his Willpower + Portal Serenade versus the adequate skill of the opponent (if she’s a Gifted, for instance, make it against her Willpower + Gateway Test). There are places such as the Kether or Binah, which are barred to the Earth, to which the Immortals have, therefore, no access. But is very common to hear of Immortals connected not only to the Mantles and Netzach, but also to the realm of Yesod, and even to Geburah.

Chapter 6 - Supernatural

Chapter Six: Supernatural

 

“Miss?”

I cough and look up from the sand.

He stands there in a pair of cotton pants and a windbreaker, a baseball cap pulled over his head. The same short frame, the same intense eyes. But something is missing.

Something is different.

“Are you alright? He asks in a timid voice. “I’ll go call an ambulance.”

I clench my hands in the wet sand and stare up at him, shaking my head.

An expression passes over his face, wide-eyed, amazed. The look of recognition. The look I am waiting for.

“You?” He murmurs, completely stunned.

“This is between us!” I snarl, and launch myself at him.

He’s taken completely by surprise and falls to the ground, dazed. I land on top of him and here the whoosh as air is pumped out of his lungs. He gasps for breath. I move my face close to his and stare into his eyes with hatred. I want him to see that hatred. I want him to understand that I will outlive him. His eyes lock with mine in terror.

“You’re even smaller than when we last met!” I spit. He gasps as I cover his mouth with mine, forcing it open with my tongue, letting the stream of gold rise up out of me and into his throat. His scream is burnt up. Gold breaks through his fragile neck, through his cheeks. I hear his brain start to boil.

He is dead too soon.

I love L.A. People there live in a fantasy world, a world of dreams and images. For the most part, it is the refuge of people who live their lives as illusions because they fear the judgement of others. They worship everything from underwear billboards to crystals, to Hollywood movie stars. And of course, they worship money. Great vaults of it printed against the value of shining metal dug out of the ground. They don’t realize a war is coming and that none of these gods will save them from it.

L.A. has been a comfort to me since the night I killed that man and gave his body to the Pacific. Despite what you might think about me, I do feel guilt when I take an innocent life. These days, it doesn’t seem like our kind can avoid it. But we do try. We know humans are victims of the darkness within.

I reflect on the shadows that gathered around the young man, his last thoughts spilling out as light, then bruising, dimming, growing black. His name was Carl Piper. He was an actor. He wanted to make it big and to be remembered for all time. He knew me from pictures in his family’s archives, from old wives tales passed down each generation in his family. Like all of the males in his family line, he dreamed of me.

He was not responsible for the curse his ancestor placed on me. That was his last dying thought, after he realized how real those wives tales were. He was the last of an only child.

He had no idea that the curse died with him. At least I think it did.

I buried the boy’s body with the gold coin and a pile of rocks into the ocean.

I have to admit that King whose money I took made a good effort to overcome my prophecy. He was never remembered, but he passed his Bright Blood on and became Immortal.

At least, for a little while.

Introduction

This chapter supplies further background on the world of “Immortal: Millennium”, and it is aimed mainly (but not exclusively, of course) to Chroniclers who are running their Chronicles in the “Immortal: Millennium” Unisystem™ format, since that, without the information contained in the WitchCraft setting, there will be serious gaps. In here, there will be given detailed (but by no means exhaustive) information concerning the allies and enemies of the Himsati Immortals, as well as a description of the mysterious Abzulim – whose loyalties and agenda are unknown to everyone but themselves. Knowledge concerned the Immortal Sanctuaries is included as well, as is a preview of a possible future of the Himsati, who, after finally defeating the Enemy, find themselves facing a far larger threat than the Sanguinary: the rise of the Mad God Leviathan – with the description of the Himsati Immortals in the world of Armageddon™.

Mantles

“Mantle” is the designation given by Immortals to enormous Sanctuaries, whose size can easily compete with that of most of the metropolis of our world. There are few more than a dozen of these otherworldly kingdoms, whose appearance and physical laws are entirely subject to the will and imagination of the mantle’s Maker (for more info concerning Makers see p. xx). Within these mystical worlds survive the last remnants of Immortals and their worshippers, islands of magic and wonder, hidden from the harsh glare of neon-lit human civilization.

Each Court maintains a mantle that serves as their stronghold. Individual members of each Court, if they are lucky enough to spawn a half-human Maker capable of creating a mantle, have their own private Sanctuaries as well.

The Rules of Mantle Reality

Opposite to the normal Sanctuaries, which require enormous amounts of Essence to be created (Mystery Codex, p. 183-184), Mantles are built on any reality the Maker can imagine, without extra effort. Usually the rules are more or less the same: Gravity pulls down, the sun travels over the sky, the air is breathable, etc. However, particularly brilliant or mad Makers may alter the rules of reality to suit their whim. Some are so focused that even after their deaths, parts of the mantle continued to exist with a life of its own. However, nothing created in a mantle can be removed from that mantle, even if moved through a gateway directly into another mantle – these objects or beings are, after all, only thoughts given form by the Maker, although objects and living creatures from the outside can be brought in and out without a problem. While in their own Mantles, Makers cannot be mystically or mentally controlled. They can be coerced, assuming they have a dependency or are unsure of the boundaries of their own power.

Creating a Mantle

To create a mantle, the Maker must have a Willpower rating of 5 or superior, and must have one mortal and one Immortal parent – i.e. being a Bright Blood (refer to p. xx for more on Bright Bloods). “Pure” Bright Bloods (of two mortal parents) can never be Makers A Maker must possess a “virgin” shard of the Sanguinary, one that has never invaded a host, and it must be of a good size. Obviously, such a relic is an incredibly rare find. The shard is (usually) affixed to the forehead and is this forced contact between the two that stimulates the shard to alter reality according to the will of the Maker. This control over the shard is constant as long as there is physical contact with it. The complexity of the Mantle created by the Maker depends on his Willpower.

Willpower: Creations:

5 A small reality up to the size of an estate, with flora and weather (a Mantle this size is usually known as a Sanctuary).

6 A region up to the size of a city, with flora, fauna and weather

7+ A mantle up to the size of a country, flora, fauna, intelligent beings capable of independent interaction with themselves and outsiders.

At the edge of the Maker’s range, the mantle joins the real world so subtly that walking from one to the other usually gives no warning. Furthermore, the Maker can make barriers that keep people out of the Mantle or trapped inside.

Maintenance

Once created a mantle must be maintained by a Maker. They need not be the same Makers as those who created the mantle in the first place, but those who take over must have a thorough understanding of the mantle’s physical laws and aesthetics or they will unwittingly change the mantle. If a mantle is left without a Maker—usually because of his death or escape—the mantle’s reality will usually only be sustained for only a short time, if a new Maker does not replace the former.

Multiple Makers

Makers can work together to create even more lavish mantles. They can also maintain a more unique reality as each Maker supervises a large region for himself. Makers sometimes pass the time by competing with one another in the mantle, each creating a more complex and interesting reality. This can lead to problems when the competition becomes too serious and divisions in the mantle’s reality occur.

 

 

Friends of Old

Bright Bloods

All believers and followers of the Immortals are driven by their ideals, but most can only countermeasure the mundane, mortal forces of the Sanguinary. There are others however, who have a power in them, the same Light that beckons an Immortal toward transcendence or burns agonizingly in the mind of the Sanguinary and its servants. These special humans are known as the Bright Bloods, and they are spiritual people, whether they realize it or not, as their faith grants them supernatural powers: their blood can melt a shard into nothingness. The spark in their eyes causes pain to dark creatures and remoulds the bodies of Immortals who venture too close. Like their human brethren, the Bright Bloods are a mystery to the Immortals, their origin and future uncertain. They are wild cards that will inevitably be played out in the final war.

Incarnation: Bright Bloods continually reincarnate when they die, and in the next life can remember who they once were, even become that person again. Eventually the Bright Blood (much like an Immortal) awakens to the fact that he was once someone else, and now is again. The process tends to strip away much of the current personality and skills of the existing character, as he slowly makes his way towards being who he once was. This process is gauged by a rating known as Incarnation Points. Incarnation Points function exactly the same way that Fugue does for an Immortal, and Bright Bloods have Incarnation Triggers just like Immortals have Fugue Triggers. When a Bright Blood critically fails an Incarnation Test (which works the same way as a Fugue Test) he gains another Incarnation Point. Along with this, three skill levels that the character possesses are converted into skill levels from his previous incarnation (that the current incarnation does not possess already). The character may spend memory or experience to buy back the lost skill levels, however. Simply put, each time the Bright Blood touches upon his previous incarnation, it encroaches on his new self, slowly wiping it out. If the Incarnation Points ever reach 20, any remaining skill levels that the previous incarnation did not have are reduced to two levels each, and the lost skill levels are added to any skills that the current incarnation doesn’t have but the previous one did. The current incarnation ceases to exist and the previous incarnation is once again alive, but with vague memories of the incarnation he just supplanted, as well as a few skills.

Creating a Bright Blood Character: Bright Blood characters start with 25 points to distribute among their Primary Attributes, 20 Points in Qualities and up to 10 Points in Drawbacks, and 35 points in Skills, but cannot normally buy Natures or Serenades nor can they have the Gift, Sight, Tao-Chi, Disciplines of the Flesh or Divine Miracles. A Bright Blood also begins the game with 20 Memory Points and 1 Incarnation Point. For every incarnation beyond that that the Bright Blood takes, he gains another 10 Memory Points (and adds +1 point to his Incarnation Rating).

Bright Blood Abilities: Bright Bloods do not normally have Himsatis, nor do they play Serenades. What they do have is Faith. Each level in the Faith trait costs 4 character points up to level 5; afterwards, each level costs 7 points.

Per each Faith level, the can give up to two Essence Points and add them to their physical Attributes for the remainder of a scene. Essence Points spent thus only return after 8 hours of sleep, however. Furthermore, the Bright Blood may resist any kind of metaphysical powers by making a Resisted Test using his Willpower + Faith rating against the opponent’s test. If the Bright Blood manages to have a higher success level, then he manages to cancel the effect by unweaving the Essence Matrix before the spell is activated (on the good side, no Dispel Tasks are necessary). Should this power be used against a Himsati Immortal, and if the Bright Blood manages to have at least two Success Levels above the result of the Immortal, then he may choose to put a Curse on her (see Appendix 2, for ideas on Curses) – the higher the difference between the two test is, the more serious the Curse will be, and the longer it will last. When using Essence defensively (see WitchCraft p. 199), the Bright Blood uses his Faith rating as Channelling Level.

Playing a Bright Blood: Bright Bloods see Immortals as objects of worship just like other believers. But some Bright Bloods develop close ties and friendships with these gods, knowing that they are something more than mortal themselves. A few rare Bright Bloods impress their Immortal counterparts so that they are made Immortal themselves. Others turn down this offer, preferring to find the long road of life the mortal way.

Bright Bloods stand out in a crowd. Most Bright Bloods have trouble (especially in the beginning) accepting that they are different, and many either shut themselves out of society or leave it completely. There are some, however, which manage to turn their special talents to the benefit of themselves and, hopefully, those around them. These can rise up to become extremely powerful and important people. Others prefer the quiet of anonymity, working for their Immortal masters.

Makers

Makers are children born of mortal and Immortals. They are Bright Bloods, and automatically have all the traits and abilities inherent to them. However, they are something more: the ability that sets Makers apart from all other beings is the form their particular form of faith takes. At the lowest level, Maker faith can create a dimensional rift into a small reality limited only by their imagination. At the highest level, this dimensional space can have almost limitless boundaries. These abilities are discussed in the section on Mantles.

Makers are as long-lived as their Bright Blood brethren. They can also breed with one another, or a Bright Blood, and create other Makers. Some Immortals so far removed from the mortal experience to even consider mortal humans a civilized species, often imprison and forcibly breed new generations of Makers to maintain their precious mantles. Maker revolutions are woefully common among these enslaved populations. Once they realize they have absolute control over the reality of the mantle, it can no longer hold them. If they escape, they usually die in a few years in the mortal world, unable to adapt to an inflexible reality.

Recruiting Makers: A Maker population is the vital key to creating and maintaining a mantle. Unless an Immortal creates a sincere relationship with a mortal and they willingly mate to create a Maker child, this step inevitably requires some distasteful coordination: enslavement of Makers in the mortal world or rape of a mortal. The latter option is distasteful to almost all Immortals, mainly because a child born of such a union invariably has psychological problems that insinuate themselves into the reality matrix of the mantles they create. The very best means of gaining a viable Maker is for him to be born out of a consenting, loving union. Such a child, guided to his or her duties from birth can form stable, brilliant realities vital for the survival of Immortals.

The Face of the Enemy

The Sanguinary and the Corrupted

The origins of the Sanguinary are ambiguous to Immortals. Records left behind, particularly of the mad ravings of the Abzulim Samiel are lost, and remembered only by a secretive few. The Sanguinary smashed into the Earth 65 million years ago. Some think this collision occurred simply chance, while others believe the Sanguinary guided itself here, perhaps finding it a perfect breeding ground to increase its power. Immortals do not know what the Sanguinary looked like before its fall to earth, though Abzulim legend holds that it was unbearably beautiful and sparkled like a million gems set on fire. A famous raving of Samiel:

“When I saw its thoughts glistening on the floor and the walls of the Labyrinth, my mind begged my claws to rip out my eyes, for my heart was crying out that it was breaking.”

Whatever its primary form was, after shattering, the Sanguinary’s consciousness was scattered through all the shards of its body. The shards were vessels of instinct and the Sanguinary’s identity was trapped in a single shard, known as the Red Shard. This shard later formed a seed around which the first attempt to reincarnate the Sanguinary was made. The resulting embryo was found by Immortals before it could awaken, and smashed.

This would have annihilated the Sanguinary if its consciousness had not interfaced with the minds of proto-humans of the time. Little more than a vague nightmare itself, it floated, greatly weakened. As time passed and its consciousness began to coalesce, humanity became more industrious. Human civilization was born. All the while the Immortals thought the Sanguinary had been destroyed completely. For most of human civilization, the Sanguinary remained little more than a force rather than a clearly defined personality. Human aggression, greed and other dark personality traits were exacerbated by its presence in the dream state. Its servants sensed Its presence and were driven to accomplish the goals of the Shards without real contact with the Sanguinary Itself. All toiled for Its eventual rebirth of mind and body.

The Sanguinary is the ultimate enemy — like any other Mad God, the Sanguinary is alien, unknowable, and without remorse or compassion. Its goal is the reunification of all its scattered parts, which means obtaining all the Vocci in all Immortals, as well as all the Shards that lay dormant, waiting to enter a living host. This reunification will also absorb the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the Immortal host, destroying them utterly. For the Immortals, the Sanguinary represents more than just absolute death, it means complete oblivion.

The Progeny

In the dim past, a new generation of beings, mostly human, became infected with more of the Sanguinary’s Shards. Without aeons of strength and experience to protect them against the Sanguinary, these individuals quickly came fully under Its spell.

Today, these Progeny are the strong-arm of the Sanguinary: they act as lieutenants in control of the ravenous Droves who, left without strong leadership, would destroy themselves. The Progeny are known by their whispering. Any progeny who speaks out loud carries the resonance of lost and stolen souls, alerting Immortals to its corruption (this translates by a ripple in the flows of Essence which can be felt in a city-radius. Himsati Immortals feeling this ripple can make a Difficult Perception Test – if they pass, they can pinpoint it with entire precision).

The Progeny are Immortals in all respects but one – they have given up their spirits in sacrifice to the Sanguinary (i.e. they have no own Willpower rating). Only by draining Essence Points from humans (which are lost permanently, unless bought back with Experience), can the Progeny replenish their spirit (each 5 stolen Essence Points give 1 point to the Willpower rating – and it only lasts for 1 day per 5 stolen points). Immortals can sense this theft, however, in a city-block radius, and known instinctively that the Progeny is nearby. As long as a member of the Progeny contains this stolen Essence he can create a Serenade (though his true nature is revealed when this occurs, and it will bring all the Immortals within the city running).

Because they rape mortals for their Essence, the Progeny are usually horribly cursed beyond belief. Bizarre occurrences or inhumane or sociopathic behaviour in a city are often the sign that a Progeny has entered it.

Because the Progeny are individuals, their statistics are not provided here, as they can be of any power level, social strata or description. They are the worst enemies of Immortals because they are nothing more than their dark reflecting, and that was proven by the Great Betrayal of 1999, when many Immortals, succumbed to the Sanguinary’s temptations and turned traitor.

Becoming One of the Progeny: The Progeny grow their ranks through birth and adoption. “Birth” refers to infecting a promising human with a Shard of the Sanguinary. Once the Shard takes hold and the Sanguinary thoroughly drains the spirit of the newborn, the new member is considered a Progeny. The process takes about a week.

“Adoption” is the Progeny’s policy of recruiting Immortals into the family from the Perpetual Society. Their targets are usually either Immortals who fear the final war, or ones who are so tired of life they are willing to give up the struggle against the Sanguinary for the promise of eventual oblivion. Still others are seduced with promises of power in the new world order of the Sanguinary that is to come. Once selected, the adopted gives up his Willpower to the Progeny, who, in turn, feeds it to the Sanguinary. The adoption process is excruciatingly painful and difficult and can take months.

The vast majority of Progeny have human Himsatis, but can possess natures borrowed from other types as well. If the Progeny belongs to a larger family (see Droves, below), he shares a perfect telepathic link with higher-ranking Progeny in the same family. There is no range or limit to this link, and the lower-ranking Progeny can hide nothing from his superiors.

Devourers

The Sanguinary’s ultimate goal is assimilation of its body back into itself. Over the millennia, the Sanguinary has found itself to be much more powerful when it assimilated Shards with imprinted life experience on Vocci. This is why it does not simply assimilated raw shards of Itself.

By implanting a Shard into a living thing, then absorbing that thing, it will become infinitely more powerful with the sum total of other Essences. Among the Progeny exists a special, horrific group of monsters known as the Devourers. These creatures are created through the implantation of a shard into a creature genetically constructed and imbued with an assortment of Himsati natures. The result is a super-predator possessing the best traits of all predators combined.

Any Devourer can attempt to assimilate an opponent. If the opponent is cursed he makes his test with a -1 penalty per curse he has. Thus, cursed Immortals are easier to assimilate than the rest.

First the Devourer must successfully grapple the Immortal. Then, the Devourer and prey engage in an Resisted Willpower test. Each turn the Devourer wins the contest, it assimilates 1 Willpower Level from the Immortal. When it falls under 0, his Vox is drawn into the Devourer to join with its own. The Devourer will, in turn, eventually allow itself to be assimilated into the Sanguinary with its store of stolen Immortal lives. The process of assimilation is irreversible as long as the Devourer is alive. If it is ever slain, the Vocci of Immortals it has devoured are freed and may begin the process of reincarnating. If the Immortal ever wins the contest, the grapple is broken and the assimilation stops.

 

The Droves

As the Progeny are the supernatural servants of the Sanguinary, the Droves are the Progeny’s faithful mortal servants who have had Himsati Natures inflicted on them to turn them into beasts. Driven by hunger, the droves attack and devour any living thing they can and are the hoards making up the bulk of the Sanguinary’s armies. Droves will always be found under the domination of a Progeny, hiding in the wilderness or the wastelands of the inner cities.

Droves would be more effective if they could ignore their own burning hunger, but this disability often supplants their reasoning capability. Droves make excellent shock troops but can rarely operate in more subtle areas of the war, such as espionage and assassination.

All droves have, as a distinguishing feature, eyes which glow red under bright light. Otherwise, they come in an infinite variety of forms, with no two looking alike, as droves are not limited to mortal humans – they exist everywhere in the universe as numberless armies of alien species and even common earthly animals.

A drove can possess any Himsati Nature (see Chapter 5: Metaphysics). Their life expectancy, even without being hunted, is short due to their ravenous hunger and lust. This hunger either burns them out or causes them to fearlessly throw themselves against opponents. Others who maintain a spark of humanity often kill themselves, and others have been known to actually devour their own bodies until they die from loss of blood. The typical lifespan of a drove is measured in a handful of years.

Lesser Droves have Primary Ratings up to 5 (usually Intelligence is the lowest). Droves have no Willpower rating and up to 3 points in any Natural Himsati Natures.

Greater Droves

There are Greater Droves, creatures whose strength is great enough to control their hunger. These creatures survive for decades, growing stronger as more and more Himsati natures are heaped upon their twisted bodies. They are deadly opponents who have learned how to fight superbly. The Progeny hold them in special reserve not only to control the lesser droves, but also to carry out special missions of terror or massacre.

A Greater Drove will normally have Primary Ratings up to 7, and up to 5 points in Natural Himsati Natures.

 

The Abzulim: The Return of the Dragons

Few Immortals, save the original slaves, have ever met an Abzulim. The Abzulim were the original Immortals, the first generation created from the Sanguinary’s shards before it regained consciousness. They are still regarded as fantastical by most Immortals, bogeymen designed by the eldest Immortals to scare young Immortals into submission. Many of those who may have once fought with, or served, the Abzulim have either entered eternal madness or fallen to the Progeny.

Those who care to dig deep enough can find physical proof of the Abzulim, their twisted forms and the ruins of their empires. The most ancient Immortals remember them all too well. Mostly they remember the cruelty, the eyes utterly devoid of emotion and empathy, and incredible alien power. These cruel masters are returning, slowly, to Earth to regain their birthplace and the seat of their ancient empire. By all accounts, only nine Abzulim survived the slave revolts and the resulting collapse of their empire. This is probably untrue, since the universe is a vast place and there are Abzulim who, despite their air of superiority, prepared for every contingency.

For the past several thousand years, the Abzulim have lurked at the edge of the Earth. The nine survivors – called the Deepwalkers by those who remember them – have rarely set foot on Earth in that time. They prefer to work through mortal and Immortal agents, whom they reward very well indeed.

The Soul of an Abzulim: As a race, the Abzulim overcame the limits of their own flesh long ago. They were, and still are, masters of genetics and of their own faith. Unlike the Immortals, who are victims of faith, the Abzulim use their own belief to warp themselves into useful and deadly forms. Few traces of the Abzulim’s dinosaur origins remain. They appear at turns reptilian, crystalline, elemental, mammalian, insectoid, perhaps even human. Usually they make themselves look like all these forms at once. Most are so dark that light itself dies as tiny scintillating sparks on their skin.

The defining characteristic, and perhaps the greatest weakness, of the Abzulim is their utter contempt for cooperation with others. The Abzulim define themselves as unrelated individuals, each creating itself from anonymous origins and excelling with only its own force of will. Abzulim have not bred for countless millions of years. Another characteristic of the Abzulim is their unshakeable need to enslave weaker races. Slavery, the imposition of will upon a weaker being, is the ultimate expression of power. And power is the only thing an Abzulim respects. They do not know emotions: they are calculating and logical, but their value system is built entirely around a might-makes-right ethic. Despite their unemotional mindset and brutal ideologies, the Abzulim are far from stupid. They are still some of the oldest beings in the universe, and what they may lack in quick cunning, they more than make up for with patience. They have waited a million years to return to their birthplace, therefore they are willing to devote millennia, if necessary, to re-conquer Earth.The Abzulim are immensely powerful, but their reach is not unlimited. Therefore, they need agents to work for them: there are servants of the Abzulim within the Immortal race, drawn to promises of power, or hopeless to stand against the ancient dragons. Some of these exist in the Perpetual Society as spies. Others have formed their own groups. A third of the Court of Shadow defected to the cause of returning the Abzulim to power during the Great  Betrayal.

The Deepwalkers

 

The nine Abzulim Warlords who survived the slave revolt that brought an end to their empire now lurk in the dominions nearest Earth. True to Abzulim philosophy, each is completely independent from the others. Each rules its own fortress, each commands its own forces, and each has its own plan to recapture Earth from the upstart Immortals.

At this point in the slow assault, Immortals do not directly deal with the Deepwalkers. Rather, they will face the Deepwalker’s servants and agents (for now). The abilities and resources available to an Abzulim agent vary from warlord to warlord. No Deepwalker has any rating below 8, and usually they are all around 10-15.

 

 

Abzulim Special Nature: The Beckoning

All Abzulim have this Nature, and may also grant it to their servants for brief periods. When it is used, the controller and the intended target make a Resisted Willpower Task. If the target rolls higher, there is no effect. If the target fails, then the he must obey the impulse given to him by the nuances of body language. Only if there is a difference in Success Levels of at least 3 levels, will his target do something that might endanger his own life. To get the target to harm himself, the difference must be of at least 5 levels.  If an actual Abzulim is using this nature, the target makes his test at with a -3 penalty to represent the sheer power and long-term use the Abzulim have had with the Beckoning.

While the Abzulim as a race invented most of the Himsati natures, the nine Deepwalkers together invented the Beckoning nature.  Truly one of the only things they have ever done together.  This nature doesn’t just cause obedience. The Abzulim routinely trigger other types of responses in their targets, including fear, lust, anger, greed, hunger and the like. It’s important to note that this nature triggers responses, it does not inspire true emotions, and to be effective, it needs to be used in the presence of its target. Once the target leaves, the responses wind down and vanish.. A target who is controlled constantly by this nature eventually becomes immune to it, as the Abzulim found out when their slaves rose up against them.

 

Sample Abzulim: Etrosk, the Fanged

Etrosk, also known as the dragon Fafnir, is a hoarding Abzulim Warlord, sending constructs and servants into the world to recover the last of the Abzulim greater weapons and artefacts. His dominion is already the greatest cache of Wonders and spectacular treasures gathered in one: an entire world made up of gold-sand deserts, crystal towers and gems scattered about as commonly as stones.

Etrosk’s contribution to The Beckoning was the dialect of greed. Creating a desire for money and other valuable things is the core of Etrosk and his servant’s power. The fever of greed has burned up many a mortal and Immortal alike, and fuelled wars between nations. Any object that has been handled by Etrosk emits an aura of intense value, despite its real appearance. Anyone in the presence of such an item must make the standard Beckoning resistance just as if the object were a Servant of Etrosk. Failure causes him to desire the object above all other things, and possibly kill to possess it.

Etrosk has a form that brings to mind a sinuous, serpentine T-Rex glittering with gems imbedded in every scale. He loves to gamble. Since Etrosk has no use for servants other than Immortals he may manipulate for long-term goals, he is very much a loner.

Chapter 7 - Adventure: Company of wolves

                                  Company of Wolves

 

“And even the light died in the black pools that were its eyes… You can’t run, you can’t hide… it’s going to get you.”

Introduction

“Company of Wolves” allows the players to experiment playing with unaware Immortals. If the Chronicler is feeling daring, he might even have the players build the Cast Members without telling them what kind of game and creatures they will be playing and let them discover by themselves, step by step.

 

Running Company of Wolves

 

Cast Members: This is a short introductory adventure meant for a Cast of 2-4 players, all Himsati Immortals, who are still unaware of their true nature.

Location: The adventure can occur in any city in the world, independent of size, since there are no particular requirements for it.

Time: The adventure takes spreads over four days (starting on a Monday, preferably) beginning with the dreaming character’s awakening to the final confrontation with Lord Blind.

Setting: All the characters work (be it part-time or full-time) in an office, which is actually a front for a covert intelligence centre set up by the Court of Secrets. The office will be attacked by the Progeny, who are seeking a data disk that contains damaging information about their activities in the city. Most of the victims were loyal mortal servants of the Court of Secrets, who died rather than reveal the location of the disk. In fact, it was removed just prior to the attack.

It was Brinane, a Guardian of the Court of the Secrets who carried the disk away, by shifting into her wolf Himsati form as the Progeny attacked. She was run down by one of the dark Immortals, in his rottweiller form: Lord Blind.

 The Starting premise is that the characters don’t realize they are immortals many thousands of years old. They are living normal lives as humans without a clue that they possess supernatural powers or that they are refugees from an ancient society that predates the dawn of human civilization. As the story progresses, they will learn that there is something very unusual about themselves.

 

Scenes

The Dream

Choose one of the Cast Members and describe him the dream he is having: in a dark wood, is being stalked by something dark and menacing, The Cast Member also feels that something is wrong with himself, as, as he runs, he is doing it close to the ground, as if he was an animal himself. In a clearing, he turns and sees a dark, black creature spring over a rock and onto him. The beast’s features are indistinct, but the eyes seem so black that light dies when touching them.

Just Another Manic Monday

The Cast Member awakens in a pool of sweat. He is late for work and the boss is in a foul mood, so it does not take long for all entire Cast feel his wrath. After a few hours of sweating it up, find an excuse for the Cast to leave the office: one has the task of getting lunch from the deli across the streets, other has to take some parcels to the post office, or some other trivial errand ordered by the boss as a petty punishment .

As the characters walk down the street, they encounter a pair of dogs fighting in an alley. Watching for a moment, they notice that one of them looks very much as a wolf, the other like a black rottweiller. The Rottweiller is horrifyingly vicious, and within moments it has bitten the wolf dreadfully, perhaps mortally. The characters find themselves filled with an inexplicable rage and hatred for the black dog, stronger than any emotion any of them has known before. The beast’s eyes seem to swallow the light, and the alley seems unnaturally dim around the it. At this point, the Chronicler will wants the character to attack the Rottweiller, or at least to enter the alley (perhaps to try and aid the wolf): a good possibility is to describe the dog as leering arrogantly at the Cast, for instances (the Chronicler should mention that there are several boards and pipes lying about that can be used as weapons), or perhaps it has its teeth fixes on the wolf’s throat, ready to deliver a killing bite, but seems to be holding back, while it gazes defiantly at the Cast Member. It is, after all, only a dog. If the Cast (or one of the Cast Members) advances into the alley, the rottweiller immediately releases the wolf and snarls at the human. This incites an involuntary response from the character: he snarls back with a strange voice that seems to come from within the deepest recesses of himself. The rumbling reverberation of that snarl catches the rottweiller and throws it away from the wolf, smashing the dog so hard against a metal garbage dumpster that it leaves a deep dent. Its dark eyes blaze momentarily with hatred, and then it turns and flees.

The wolf is badly hurt and unconscious. The Cast may want to take the animal to his home to care for it, or to a vet, or call the City Animal Control. Even if they do nothing, they will see this creature later. If the characters leave without entering the alley, the rottweiller trails then for a short distance, then, disappears.

When the Cast returns to the office, they discovers to their horror that everyone in the office has been murdered (shot to death) and the office has been ransacked. There are no stray bullet holes on the walls, indicating that murderer(s) probably used handguns and were very methodical.

What Happens Next?

The Cast Members should feel that they’re in deep trouble, as they are the only persons alive in the office. They might want call the police or flee – this should bring interesting debate among them. If the other characters are not involved in the story at this point, encourage those who are into contact their friends (the rest of the Cast), for shelter, for example.

That evening’s news carries no mention of the massacre at the office, even if the Cast reported it to the police. If the Cast are not in hiding, however, the police will question them extensively about the crime. Any mention of supernatural happenings, will be scoffed at, as will the notion that the rottweiller or the wolf were connected to the shooting.

Brinane

If the characters brought the wolf home, it heals within a matter of hours, or the vet with call with startling news, and asks them to come and pick up “their” wolf. At any rate, try to get the wolf and the characters alone in someone’s home. The wolf trots into the bathroom, and a short time later, a very tall, very beautiful woman walks out, wrapped in a towel or robe, having most obviously just emerged from the shower. She has a compact disk on a fine chain around her neck. Her name is Brinane and she thanks the Cast Members for the help, adding she wants to call her people to come and pick her. It will be two days before the pickup can be arranged, however. In the meantime, if they can bring her some clothes and a sword; she will pay them back for any expenses when her people arrive.

When the Cast goes out to procure the items, they are confronted by thugs, who demand to know where Brinane and the disk are hidden. If they don’t get what they want, they will attack with knives, nunchakus, blackjacks  and a sword, in the hands of the apparent leader. These are mortals controlled by the Progeny, and should outnumber the character enough to make this fight look pretty one-sided.

The Attack

This fight will give the characters a second glimpse into their true identities. The thugs are good at this sort of brawling and ought to kick the characters around pretty easily until desperation and fear cause the characters to manifest some of their unknown immortal powers. The Chronicler should keep the players in the dark until the situation looks desperate, and then start making the strange things happen.

This apparently hopeless battle ends with the characters strengthened and victorious. If the Cast interrogates the thugs afterwards, the thugs will say only that Lord Blind sent them. They will say no more.

Climax

The characters should return to Brinane with a sword. She is not surprised at the news and appreciates their help.

Suddenly, as Brinane is admiring and cleaning the new sword, the rottweiller crashes through a window (or door, if the characters are above the ground floor). It moves directly to attack Brinane, unconcerned about anyone else nearby. The Cast can either help Brinane in the fight or stand back and watch. Brinane wields the swords with amazing skill and ferocity. In the end, the rottweiller falls, but only after a desperate fight, and when it dies, its body dissolves into a pile of salt.

Brinane thanks the characters and warns then that, in spite of its apparent death, the rottweiller may be back. If pressed for an explanation, she tells them that their world has just become a dangerous place. If they are smart, she adds, they will find another place to live. She warns them that a war is coming… the final war.

A very short time late, two men arrive in an unmarked van. One hands a paper bag to Brinane, who passes it to the characters. It is filled with $20 bills, totalling to about $10.000. Brinane exits with the men, leaving the characters with more questions than answers and dire warnings about the future.

 

Adversaries

Lord Blind (Rottweiller)
Main Villain and Member of the Progeny

Strength: 5                    Intelligence: 2
Dexterity: 5                   Perception: 2
Constitution: 5               Willpower: N/A

Life Points: 65               Endurance Points: 35

Speed: 20                      Essence Points: 44

Qualities: Himsati Immortal.

Skills: Dodge 6, Brawling 6

Natures: Natural Weaponry (Fangs) 3 levels.

 

Thugs

Strength: 3                    Intelligence: 2
Dexterity: 2                   Perception: 2
Constitution: 2               Willpower: 2

Life Points: 30               Endurance Points: 26

Speed: 8                        Essence Points: 13

Skills: Brawling 2, Dodge 2, Hand Weapon 2.


Supporting Cast

Brinane

Guardian of the Disk, and Unexpected Guest

Court: Court of Secrets

Calling: Guardian

Himsati Form: Wolf

Strength: 5                    Intelligence: 5
Dexterity: 6                   Perception: 4
Constitution: 6               Willpower: 5

Life Points: 70               Endurance Points: 53
(-20, when first found due to wounds)

Speed: 24                      Essence Points: 56

Qualities: Attractiveness +2, Himsati Immortal.

Skills: Brawling 6, Dodge 5, Hand Weapon (Sword) 7.

Natures: Natural Weaponry (Fangs) 2 levels.

Chapter 8 - Adventure: Eternal City

 

Eternal City

 


Inscription [4]
Return Locus: <Vixen at Sanctuary [Hacker Alias]>
Received By: <Emissary; Talitha at Sanctuary>
Language: Latin [translation provided]

Subject: Rumours and Revelations
Summary: An artefact from the Court of Fate is stolen

Keyword Search: Court of Fate, Court of Life

Date: Year of the Pale

Message As Follows:
Hi out there in dreamy dream land. Earlier I speculated that there was a theft of an important artefact from the fortress of the Court of Fate, and tonight that was confirmed. My sources tell me there is a fleet of ships combing the country looking for the thief, supposedly a female. I hear she stole a very important artefact of great power. My sources suspect it has something to do with changing the future. Considering how many resources have been mobilized to return it to the Court’s crèche, I’m dying to know what is so special about this artefact. Let me know if you learn anything at all about the thief or the artefact   Love and life      Vixen   --,--‘---<@

 

Inscription [Cipher]
Return Locus: <Weaver at Sanctuary>
Received By: <Trapdoor at Tapestry at Sanctuary>
Language: Oneness [Dialect]

Subject: Pandora’s Vox
Summary: The Court of Fate must secure this artefact at all costs

Keyword Search: >suppressed<

Date: Year of the Pale

Message As Follows:

Trapdoor,

We have analysed the threat to our Court’s security and the repercussions represented by the threat of Pandora’s Vox. Important data follows, so remember it.

Capture of this artefact is not only vital to the security of the Court of Fate, but to all of our immortal society. If it falls into the hands of the Beast or its minions, all hope for the future is lost. The war, such as it is, will be finished. The sanguinary knows this and will attempt to find it as well. While artefacts such as the Femme Darkle represents death and annihilation for us, Pandora’s Vox could be our salvation.

I have learned that the Shadowen have sent two of their best killers to apprehend this thief. You and your pantheon must get to her first. Her dossier is included as a separate file. We do not trust the Shadowen nor do we trust the artefact to fall into their hands. You and your Pantheon are chosen because of your long history together and your many successes for your court as well as your resistance to the temptations of the beast. Be wary. The Beast Itself, if It does not already have Moon in Its service, will do Its utmost to claim Pandora’s Vox from her. This will put you in grave danger. Our prophets will converge all the luck we can toward your mission.

 

Inscription [7]
Return Locus: <Babylon at Sanctuary [Maker Code Verified]>
Received By: <Emissary; Talitha at Sanctuary>
Language: Telepathic Inscription

Subject: Help us please
Summary: Please please help is

Keyword Search: Mantle, Droves, Guardians, Sanctuary, Babylon

Date: Year of the Pale

Message As Follows:

Someone, please help me. My sovereign mantle has been invaded by droves of the Sanguinary. All Immortals have perished. My guardians have either perished or fled. I am alone and wounded. If I don’t receive help, this part of the Sanctuary will shatter. I am losing control of this place because of my pain. Please if you receive this come into Babylon and help us. I am badly wounded. I need hel >end of transmission<

 

Inscription [7]
Return Locus: <Catspaw at Sanctuary>
Received By: <Emissary; Talitha at Sanctuary>
Language: Atrana-Cant [Voxtongue]

Subject: Re. Help us please
Summary: Forget it, they’re gone

Keyword Search: Sanguinary, Babylon

Date: Year of the Pale

Message As Follows:

Anyone who tries to enter Babylon now is a fool. It’s been claimed by the Sanguinary; It’s poison to us all. It’s suicide to go in for a single survivor, even if she is a Maker.

 

Inscription [7]
Return Locus: <Whisper at Sanctuary [probably alias]>
Received By: <Emissary; Talitha at Sanctuary>
Language: Atrana-Cant [Voxtongue]

Subject: Re. Re. Help us please
Summary: You are obviously a coward, Catspaw

Keyword Search: Himsati, Maker

Date: Year of the Pale

Message As Follows:

A single life is worth any effort, Catspaw, you coward. It’s people like you that has given the Sanguinary many of its victories in the past. Your Himsati form must be that of an ostrich. Why don’t you turn back into your true shape and go hide your head in the sand? I for one am willing to take the risk. I will liberate the Maker.

 

Inscription [7]
Return Locus: <Semiramis at Babylon>
Received By: <Emissary; Talitha at Sanctuary>
Language: Atrana-Cant [Voxtongue]

Subject: Dispelling rumours
Summary: Babylon is not under attack.

Keyword Search: This hoax has gone far enough

Date: Year of the Pale

Message As Follows:

I am Semiramis, Regent of Babylon. The rumours of Babylon’s fall are completely false. Unfortunately the Maker of our Mantle took ill with a fever. This not only caused her to hallucinate and destabilize the reality of her creation, but disrupted our communication as well. You all know what happens when a Mantle becomes locked from within. Apparently it was an allergic reaction. She is now resting peacefully and the Mantle has returned to a stable reality. Babylon is now open for visitation, and we hope these erroneous reports do not prevent you from visiting our magnificent hanging gardens, gambling facilities and sacred pleasure temples. My advisors fear we will lose much of our tourism commerce but I have faith that all of you will put this hoax behind you and come visit us very soon. We look forward to welcoming you. = -)

 

 

Introduction

The Mantle of Babylon, a large Sanctuary inhabited by Immortals, is under attack by mysterious forces. By the hour, Babylon becomes more separated from reality and drawn into a dark dimension where the Sanguinary lairs like a spider in a web. Lost in a world both familiar and yet alien, the Cast Members may come to realize their true natures as Immortals and become the targets of a cat-and-mouse hunt that seeks to prevent their escape with the truth.

 

Chapter Summary

Introduction presents these opening lines, a chapter summary, and resumed information on the adventure.

Overview provides the Chronicler with some info on the background of the adventure.

Act One: Into A New Dimension details the opening scene in which the Cast Members suddenly find themselves witnessing their unexpected performance in a movie trailer, which acts as a doorway to some unknown place.

Act Two: Walking In Babylon details the several places of the razed city the characters will visit, including their first meeting with Shade.

Act Three: Song and Claw describes the meeting with Moon, the Maker, and the fight against the Droves, as they try to reach the safety of her palace, as well as their first meeting with the Twins.

Act Four: Battle Inside The Palace covers the final confrontation with Shade, where everything can be gained… or lost.

Act Five: The Return leads the Cast into the final scenes where they witness a strange prophecy and finally manage to return home.

Supporting Cast and Adversaries. Details a number of characters that the Cast Members might encounter.

Cast Members lists six individuals who were brought to enter the Mantle of Babylon, even if not knowing what they would find within.

 

 

Running Eternal City

 Cast Members: The adventure is set for a Cast of 3 to 6 of both “Immortal: Millennium” characters, and a mixed Cast of Gifted, Inhumans and other types, as long as at least one of them is an Himsati Immortal. The Chronicler can take the opportunity to make one of the Mundane Cast Members an Immortal, as this adventure allows both fully aware Immortals, and others who still ignore their true powers. In the end of the adventure there are 6 pre-made Cast Members ready to use.

Location: Eternal City can occur in any city in the world, independent of size, since most of the action will happen in the Mantle of Babylon.

Time: The conquest of the Mantle of Babylon will take a few hours – if by 9:30 p.m. (the last showing of the trailer of “Immortal Babylon”) the Cast Members are not inside the Mantle, then the portal will close, and the story will be solved without the Cast’s intervention. At 3 a.m., the Cast Members will find themselves back into their city.

The Setting: There are small hidden worlds, beyond the perception of mankind, called Sanctuaries. Some of these Sanctuaries were created by powerful Immortals, and now they are home to other Immortals and their worshippers and allies – these are called Mantles. In most cases, Mantles are entered through cleverly hidden doorways, created by the will of a half-human, half-Immortal hybrid known as a Maker. Using her telepathic communion with a mystical shard, a Maker refocuses reality into a shape of her own choosing. A Maker is the ally of Immortals who live in her Mantle and are protected by its artificial reality. Ancient temples, fortresses, cities, and other marvels are preserved here from the cruel march of time. The famed cities of old, such as Atlantis, Babylon, Olympus, Knossos, Camelot, Heliopolis, Ife, Alexandria, Sodom and Gomorrah, Carthage, and ancient Rome exist in all their stately glory, even as the ruins of their earthly counterparts are picked over by archaeologists in the real world.

These Sanctuaries lies at the border of the real world. Sometimes a person can stumble into it through one of its gates. A gate can exist anywhere: a rock, a black cat, a waterfall, even a trash dumpster can provide entry into a Mantle once it is touched.

While a Maker is alive (they live for many, many human lifetimes) the Mantle she creates thrives. As she ages and grows senile, a replacement is rigorously trained to take over the control of the reality. If a Maker is killed before a replacement can be fully trained, the reality of the Mantle breaks down and bleeds out into the real world.  In the last few centuries such exposure has been carefully avoided through the vigilance of the Immortals, who send guardians to protect the Makers.

 

Overview

The Sanguinary, trapped in the collective mind of humanity, lives as a malevolent personality in the world of dreams, moving from mind to sleeping mind, elusive and invisible. As it does this, it seeps away the life force of those with no will to resist it, or those tempted with power or other carnal pleasures of the world. The Mantles are a hunting ground for the Sanguinary, and Its servants endlessly toil to expose gates and to get at the Makers of the various Mantles. When the Sanguinary successfully captures a Maker, the reality of the Mantle the Maker controls shifts to favour the Beast and Its servants, thus, all Immortals living in the Mantle are trapped and become the prey of the Sanguinary.

The dark minions of the Sanguinary have made a strike on Babylon, a Mantle which has one of its gates hidden within the Main Cast’s home city. The Maker of the Mantle, a young woman named Moon, is running for her life, staying just ahead of her hunters, but is wounded to such an extent that her control over her Mantle is tenuous at best. With all of her guardians dead and without her controlling the Mantle, Moon’s hunters are influencing its now malleable nature, creating a labyrinth around Babylon from which she cannot escape.

 

Pandora’s Vox

Long ago, during the age of myth when humankind and Immortals lived side by side, when the world was filled with magic and wonders beyond description, Pandora was created. She was a perfect human female who was chosen by the Court of Fate to go on a very sacred task. They joined a large, powerful shard to her flesh and made her Immortal. Pandora’s mission was one of utmost secrecy. A consummate thief, her anonymity was protected by the Court of Fate at a great expenditure of power, resources, and fanatical mortal priests. Her alias, Thief of Wonders, was well earned, considering her theft of precious objects, people, even Mantles she stealthily entered. The Thief of Wonders became the most hunted Immortal in all history. Pandora was eventually caught and quietly slain by the very Court that made her. Her Vox was kept in a vault, filled with the Wonders she stole through her long career which exist as patterns of energy ready to reform into solid matter. The Court of Fate surrounded this priceless artefact with incredible security.

Aided by a member within the Court known as Phoenix, Moon penetrated the defences surrounding the Vox and stole it. Because of Phoenix’s arcane power, the prescient seers of the Court were tricked and did not foresee Moon’s coming. They were thus unprepared to prevent the theft.

 

The Cast Members are brought together – whether they know each other before or not – when they decide to go to the movies. As the preview trailers begin, they find themselves depicted there, wielding powers they could not possibly have. During the trailer, a young boy, dressed as a commando, walks straight into the screen and disappears inside it.

If the Cast follows, they find themselves in the city depicted in the trailer – and everyone is dead. As they walk throughout the city, they start to believe they are not the only ones alive – which can be both a blessing and a curse.

At a given time, they find Moon, the wounded Maker, and fight against uncountable enemies just to get at her place of power where she’ll be able of regaining control over the Mantle… only to find Shade waiting for them. Another climatic battle ensues, and Moon can either survive or die, depending on the Cast Members’ actions.

 

Dramatis Personae

The following characters are important to the development of the adventure. Detailed stats and description are included at the end of this adventure.

Moon – Maker of the Mantle of Babylon
Cutter – Slayer of the Court of War.
Joker – Guardian of the Court of Secrets and Moon’s protector
Shade – Renegade Scourge of the Court of Shadows
The Twins – Shade’s fellow Triad members, also renegade Shadowen

 

Cast Members

Players may wish to use these pre-generated characters. Their stats and description are included at the end of the adventure.

Hannah Torres – Junior Arts Student; formerly Tactician of the Court of War (unawakened Himsati Immortal)
Marcus Sanders, PhD – Ancient and Medieval History Professor, Mentor of the Court of Fate (awakened Himsati Immortal)
Michael “Mike” Muller, Esq. - Dilettante and Philanthropist; Lesser Gifted Rosicrucian.
Randy Schneider – Junior Engineering Student, formerly Slayer of the Court of War (unawakened Himsati Immortal)
Theresa Bishop – Proud Daughter of the Highlands Waitress, Gifted Wicce.
Sir William Frame – Writer and overall Bon Vivant; Solitaire Vampyre

 

 

Act One: Into A New Dimension

The Opening of the Gate

The last remaining gate into Babylon is found in a movie theatre near the PCs. In fact, on this particular night the PCs happen to be at this theatre watching a highly anticipated film. Before feature films, a trailer of other upcoming attractions are run to whet the appetites of the audience. Many trailers are poorly done these days, showing all of the plot points in the film and leaving very few surprises. Four trailers are shown before the start of the feature. The last and final one, promoting a film called “Eternal City,” is different in many ways. It is exciting, fast-paced, and full of visual effects that defy imagination. The PCs will find it riveting to the point that it overpowers their anticipation for the movie they came to see. In fact, the trailer for Eternal City is a gateway into the Mantle of Babylon. As long as the trailer shines on the movie screen, the gate is open and anyone can walk through the screen into the hidden dimension.

The characters witness a boy, appearing about 13 years of age, enter the theatre during the previews and walk up to the movie screen, dressed as a commando and carrying a leather satchel. He checks his gear during the first three trailers. The other patrons in the theatre do not seem to notice him, but to the PCs, he is clearly revealed by the moving images on the screen.

When the final trailer comes on, the boy (Cutter) stands up, hoists the gear, and steps into the screen, leaving a rippling effect of blue energy cresting across it. The characters, if they don’t follow him by the ending of the trailer, will have to wait another three hours for the main feature to end and for the trailer to come up in the next showing of the film. This is when the gate opens again. There will only be one other showing of the film and the Eternal City trailer after that, at 9:20 p.m. The trailer does not appear the next day when the film shows again, for Babylon will have been conquered by then without the Main Cast’s intervention.

The Movie Trailer

The trailer is not only a gateway but an oracle of sorts as well. It shows the future of what could occur in the Mantle of Babylon in the next 24 hours. This means the Cast Members will see themselves as the characters in the trailer, exhibited in flashy cutaways. The Chronicler should read the entire adventure to get a feel of what will happen. It will help fill in the pieces of what the trailer should look like.

An example description of the trailer: (a sweeping shot of Babylon on a stormy night – with towering temples and statues all around.)  A deep voice utters:

“There is a world hidden from human eyes, a city protected from time itself. It has stood for ten thousand years, a haven for the last of an Immortal race…(The camera pans in, revealing bodies sprawled everywhere, many of which died gruesomely.)

“Tonight it will be invaded by the servants of darkness…”(image of the Twins walking hand in hand, dressed in black, wearing sunglasses, while in the background, monstrous creatures scuttle along the vertical walls of the buildings. The shadows of the twins precede them, black growling beasts on leashes held by the twins.)

“…and destroyed by a creature whose lust for power can never be quenched.” (the silhouette of Shade is shown, standing on a hill, arms thrown wide, hair and luminescent gown fluttering in the wind as, in the background, a massive explosion rocks the city and fires burn out of control.)

“For the few brave enough to oppose her…” (An image of all the PCs looking around the deserted, haunted city.)

“…time is running out.” (An explosive montage of quick, dramatic cutaway scenes follows, emphasized by quick-paced music. It shows the characters exploring the city, witnessing the chase of the Maker by the droves through the bus. The battle with the twins is shown, as well, together with scenes of the frozen people in the hanging gardens of Babylon. An image of one of the Immortal Cast Members screaming as she inadvertently uses her Vox to produce a serenade. The force of the serenade ripples through the scene, tearing the drove apart, flipping cars over, electrifying the rain as she stands there, screaming. The camera then shifts to show one of the Gifted whispering, her arms wrapped around her, when she suddenly opens then, and a wave of fire rolls over several Droves, submerging them in cleansing flames. At her side, another Gifted focus and from his fingers is released a burst of blue energy, which sends another drove tumbling).

Visible Essence

In Babylon the Essence is visible, even to the non-Gifted, therefore, the Chronicler should check beforehand what powers the Cast Members will have, in order to make truly memorable descriptions.

“This summer, Babylon Pictures presents a film that will make you question what is real and take you to a world where dreams can kill.” (Close up on a drove, all fangs, glowing spines and eyes, and rending claws. It charges the viewer until its gaping fanged maw fills the scene, into its dark throat surrounds the screen until it goes utterly black.)

(A few tense seconds elapse, and the logo for “IMMORTAL BABYLON” is revealed as searchlights probe through the darkness. Out of this darkness, as the logo fades, the beautiful face of Shade emerges, staring into the eyes of the viewers.) “Come and get me.” she whispers with a sexy, defiant smile.

 

Act Two: Walking In Babylon

The Razed Temple

(Note: Even if the Cast Members followed Cutter through the screen, he will not be present in the razed temple when the players arrive. He has raced ahead and will encounter the Cast later.)

On the other side of the movie screen is the interior of a huge, razed temple. The Cast Members emerge from a wall, coincidentally the size of the movie screen, painted with a mural. The mural is defiled, blackened with fire. The only visible detail is part of a beatific face with glowing eyes, painted in a luminescent tincture, which smiles sadly from the ruin. The angelic face seems to stare at the Cast with a pleading expression. One of the characters hears, telepathically in her mind, “Help me.” It seems to be the voice of a young girl and seemed to emanate from the mural. The plea is not repeated.

In front of them are the shattered remains of the temple’s main atrium. There are tall pillars, statues of hawk-headed gods and clusters of once-decorative trees, all burnt. The roof has fallen in, the huge marble slabs lying on a number of crushed people, all human, all dead. Those who did not die immediately appear to have been finished off by having their throats bitten out.

There is a huge statue of Semiramis, the famed queen of Babylon. The statue has been toppled and is covered with viscous, oily saliva. The saliva is slowly transforming the stature into a hideous parody of the beautiful queen. Within hours it will assume the spidery shape of one of the lesser aspects of the Sanguinary. The main altar in this atrium has a number of people clinging to it, as if in desperation and their heads look to have been bitten off. A raven, the only living thing other than the characters, hops from slab to slab, watching them. This is actually Joker in his Himsati form. The rest of the temple is composed of meditation chambers, beds where the sacred prostitutes of the temple shared their bodies for donations to the temple, and a number of pools and saunas. There are dead people everywhere: on the beds, floating in the water, lying on the stairs. The brutality of this scene is acute. One of the sacred prostitutes of the Temple, devotee to the ancient goddess Ishtar, is found dancing in one of the rooms. Dazed with madness, she offers her body to any Cast Member willing to have her, hoping in her dementia that this sacrifice will restore her temple to its former security. Her name is Nirani, she is extremely beautiful and any Cast Member who wishes to drain Essence from her, finds her willing. Nirani constantly says that Ishtar and her Moon have fallen from the sky.

 

The Blood Fountain

Outside the razed temple there is a number of smaller shrines. They are roofless, open-air platforms with altars and fountains. All been similarly razed. One fountain in particular dominates the scene, shooting water 50 feet into the air. The water is red from the blood of several people who made a stand here and were massacred. Their bodies, however, are gone and only the blood remains (the slain defenders were Immortals, and once overcome, their Vocci were torn from their throats, thus disintegrating their bodies). The fight was so mystically powerful that the images of it, along with the blood of the fallen, are permanently etched onto the surface of the rippling pool. Should the Babylonian Mantle be saved, the fountain will become a cherished monument.

 

Visions in the Blood Fountain

The fallen Immortals were here defending the shrines and the humans who came to them beseeching their aid.  Their last stand is recorded in the red waters of the fountain and can be reviewed by staring into them: the figures show in the water move with amazing strength and animal grace, unfettered by gravity or the clumsiness of muscles, and their combat is a dance, both beautiful and terrifying to watch. A few Immortals actually run up the side of the falling water of the fountain, diving over the top and falling on a drove wading in the other side. One Immortal moves her hand to touch, with a single finger, the forehead of a drove in a gentle caress, and when the tip of her finger brushes it, snaps the monster’s head back as if from a brutal blow. Despite the elegance of this fight, however, the droves are simply too numerous. The characters will see as each of the defenders is finally brought down.

Surrounding the temple district are a number of houses similar to those one would expect to see in an ancient city, judging from the archaic architectural style, with an emphasis on step-pyramids incorporated into the overall design. The houses themselves have obviously been invaded by troops, and many are little more than smoking ruins. Dogs lay dead in the yards, slain while trying to defend their masters’ houses. And on an even more unpleasant note, all of the bodies have been looted.

 

Charnel Houses

Inside the houses, the characters will find strange webbing strung everywhere, with corpses of humans cocooned inside, completely drained of all fluid. The web, when touched, fluoresces a sickly green, sending luminescent tremors along the greater structure of the web, warning Shade and her forces of the character’s presence. The web and gruesome deaths are the work of the Twins, who exist in the form of two large, translucent, black spiders. Having sensed the tremor of the web, the Twins will stalk the characters from a distance to ascertain their power level.

Downtown

Eventually the characters find a larger street that takes them toward a beautiful city skyline. It is huge and it is obviously the heart of the city, for as they get closer they notice the immense amount of columnar temples and huge statues of Babylonian sphinxes, bearded men with lion bodies, bull legs, and folded wings. In spite of the archaic feel, everything is perfect, polished, millimetricaly correct, making the most modern city in the real world look crude by comparison. The sidewalks are white instead of concrete grey and beautifully inscribed with cuneiform that is inlaid with glowing blue glass. There are bodies scattered about here as well, fresher than those in the outskirts.

As the characters move through these areas, explain that they can’t escape the feeling that objects such as statues, carved friezes, mosaics imbedded in the plazas, etc, are all staring at them. Nestled among the temples is a large plaza with a marketplace whose roof is open to the sky, and in it can be found a variety of tents and shops selling food, jewellery, clothes and anything else the Chronicler wants, as well as a weapon shop filled with all kinds of archaic weapons from bows and crossbows to swords and daggers, but that look ready for the wear. Characters with the penchance for combat will fill strangely drawn to the weapons and might find out, suddenly that they can wield one sword like master swordsman (the Chronicler may start handing out Memory Points at this point and allow the Cast Members to buy/increase their Hand Weapon skills).

Among all of this splendour is silence. Many of the shops and tents have been looted, and the characters will find, in what seems an elegant tavern, bodies trapped in the same fluorescent webs found in the subdivision. The webs disappear down the drain of a sink in the kitchen like micro-thin fibre-optic cabling. This conduit leads to the Hanging Gardens.

The Theatre

There are many dead people in this large building, sitting in their stone seats, and the place is so cold the characters will see their breath and frost drifting on the air. On the stage there is a dried husk of a man lying with a scream frozen on his once-youthful face.

The Statue

There is a huge statue dominating the downtown area. The statue is that of a Virgin Mary with two faces, one peering from either side of the head, but only a single body. If the character takes a closer look, he will notice that the statue if in fact of the Twins, standing back to back, the drapes of their stone dresses barely concealing the multiple legs underneath them. The Narrator may wish to allow the Cast Members to make a Difficult Perception roll to realize that the Statue is actually watching them. In fact, the Statue is the eyes of the Twins in this particular area. Now, the feeling of being watched by columns, mosaics and the like, increases, as should the paranoia of the Main Cast.

The Watcher

The characters will see a woman standing on the very top of one of the immensely tall and decorated columns at one of the central intersections of downtown Babylon. This is Shade, who is watching the Main Cast. Before they get a clear look at her face, she takes a single small step away and is seen standing on the top of the next column, and then the next, until she moves out of view. But even without seeing the details of her face and form, all the Cast Members (females included) will find her mesmerizing, for some strange reason.

 

Act Three: Song and Claw

Drove Attack

The eerie quiet of the area is shattered by a woman’s scream. The characters see Moon dart out of an alleyway, pursued by dark creatures that are at once beautiful and bestial. All are black and glowing with luminescent spines, eyes, horns, claws, and fur. They look like a melding between mythological beast and bioorganic technology. Three of these creatures, leaping from wall to wall of the alley with supernatural agility, pursue the Maker as she runs. In front of her is fallen a large slate of marble. She heads for it, holding her hands crossed in front of her face as if she is going to slam into it, but instead the side of the slate seems to liquefy. She bursts through the watery walls of the rock, spraying water out the opposite side. The Cast Members notice that the water, as it hits the ground, becomes shards of splintered marble. This startling effect closes behind her, causing the pursuing Droves to crash headlong into the rock, leaving large dents in both the marble and the creatures.

Only momentarily deterred, they leap high into the air onto the top of the rock and peer around, suspended in the air almost in slow motion. Quickly they catch sight of Moon and drop at accelerated speed back down to the ground. By this time, Moon has reached the Main Cast, limping from a bad wound that stretches from her waist down her right leg. The characters are almost certain to be drawn into battle with the Droves. The monsters are charging headlong toward the characters at fantastic speed and are nearly impossible to evade or escape. The battle should start badly and quickly get worse as characters get injured. When things look really bleak, Cutter shows up and joins the fray. Use as many droves as you need to give your PCs a real challenge.

Helping The Maker

Moon is a lovely woman with a distinct trait: her entire body is covered with pale, subtle tattoos.

She does not give her name but will beg the characters to get her to her sanctuary, which lies within the Hanging Gardens. Once in her sanctuary, she is safe. She can heal herself and turn the tide on this invasion. She leads the way.

Moon should be injured quite badly after the fight, and characters may consider her more of a liability than an asset. Cutter is a balancing element. The Chronicler can adjust his power to whatever level is necessary to keep events in synch. He, too, should be injured after the fight with the droves. At one point, Moon will use the power resident in her tattoos: she lifts up her shirt to reveal her bare stomach, revealing a glowing around her pierced navel a sun tattoo. The light from the tattoo shines out into the eyes of the Droves, blinding them. This prevents the Droves from taking any action this turn. When Moon activates the tattoo, the characters will actually feel as if they are looking at the light from an ancient sun from a long lost age, trapped in this Immortal woman’s skin. In its radiance, they see mist, hear the sound of a waterfall, singing birds, and something large and beautiful flapping through the air. They feel they have glimpsed, through her navel, into another world. Any questions about this amazing experience are ignored, as Moon quickly urges the characters to help her move on.

The Park

Finally the characters find a park. It is lush and green and filled with streetlights. A light mist swims through the air. As they go further into the park, they find that it becomes more and more a garden. The garden becomes even more spectacular the further the characters move into it. Now there are huge statues, pools on the ground like mirrors, and the scent of flowers thick in the air. In the centre of the park is the Hanging Garden of Babylon. In the park the characters encounter a man, dressed in tattered black street clothes. He is badly wounded, which is explained by the huge bite that has been taken out of his stomach. He stumbles through the park in stark terror, screams when he sees the characters, and falls dead. This is one of the Babylonian guardians, a key-keeper of the imperial palace. He carries a signet of identification and a key that opens secret entrances in the palace. The Key-keeper also carries a locket around his neck with a picture of Moon inside it. This particular guardian died of heart failure because he fled his comrades’ last stand at the palace. Seeing Moon injured, his guilt crushes him to death.

The Hanging Gardens

The park leads to the Hanging Gardens, a monolithic step-pyramid built of white marble inscribed with glass-filled cuneiform writing. The structure covers an entire city block and soars about 20 stories high. Large crystals thrust from the surrounding grounds, shining like spotlights on the white marble.

Before reaching the structure, the characters will see Droves crowded around it, and will hear the sound of furious fighting. Babylon’s mortal keepers, sleek heroes dressed in black like the clothes worn by the dead man in the park are fighting with all they’ve got against the fanged terrors, that simple just keep coming.

Encounter With the Twins

The Twins, who have been stalking the characters, choose this moment to strike. It is important to note that the Twins would slaughter the characters easily if the Cast Members actually fought them. This is an opportunity for the Chronicler to show the Main Cast how powerful the Twins are. Let them get knocked around and inflict some negligible damage to the Twins. The Twins are in their beautiful female forms, dressed in black leather and lace. Only their shadows, amorphous and seething, give a hint of their monstrous, spider-like natures.

This confrontation is much different from that of the Droves and the Babylon keepers. It will involve the Twins shaping reality against the characters while the Maker counters with her own powers. Here are a few special effects to employ to describe this interplay:

1) The grass sprouts needles, gleaming like syringes in the light of the garden.

2) One of the combatants kicks her feet through a puddle of water that changes into shattered glass spinning toward her opponent. The opponent holds her arms out and the glass flutters past as transparent rose petals.

3) A rock is nudged with a foot and becomes a snarling, rolling thing with fanged mouth and teeth that shatters with a scream against the opponent’s foot.

4) One of the Twins slashes her own wrist with a fingernail, causing shadow to flow out of the wound and transform into a swarm of biting flies. They freeze around the Maker and drop to the ground, trapped in amber.

5) A combatant spits up into the wind, and the globule spins itself out into a black thunderhead that sends lightning ripping through the sod. The opponent grabs the bolt and yanks the cloud down from the sky; it falls around the characters like cotton candy before dissolving away.

 

The Maker barely holds her own in this fight and ultimately fails, getting knocked unconscious by the Twins. Cutter takes this moment to step forward, throwing himself at the Twins and yelling for the Cast Members to get the Maker into the palace. The keepers, seeing their precious Maker, redouble their ferocious defence of the Hanging Gardens. The characters will have to force their way through until they enter the palace. The last thing the characters see as they enter the palace is Cutter being wrapped up in a glowing green cocoon.

 

Act Four: Battle Inside The Palace

 

The Wilting.

Once the Maker is inside the Hanging Gardens, she comes conscious and begins to heal at an accelerated rate. The interior of the palace is lofty, rich, and elegant, with vegetation so alive it is radiant. The sound of combat is heard elsewhere in the palace, the sound of gunfire, the screams of the inhuman droves, and the mystic shouts of serenades.

Suddenly the temperature in the area of the characters begins to plummet. Soon their breath can be seen, and the shiny white marble floor clouds over with sparkling frost. The plants frost over, turn black, and wilt with cries that the characters can hear in their minds, a melancholy, musical sound. Rich tapestries on the windows become starved, thinning out before the character’s eyes until they are gauzy pale things moving against the broken windows like ghosts. In fact, gaunt, dark, angelic indentations emerge from them to challenge the characters, but the drapes are easily destroyed.

 

The Questors

The characters make their way toward the throne room, fighting their way through the occasional drove that rears its head out of huge vases or from the ceiling on which they cling.

Their tranquil cooing noises chill the characters, reminding them of deep-seated memories of being held, as infants, by their mothers. Engaging them in combat turns this tranquillising effect into a nerve-shattering roar that shatters rigid objects.

Most of the droves here, the Questors, are weaker than what will confront the characters later in their careers as Immortals. Little more than animals, they lack the deviousness of their greater brethren.

Encountering Shade

The throne room is quiet and covered in frost. Everything sparkles like a fairy-tale winter. Huge crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling, set with candles and icicles. The flames of the candles are still visible but are frozen solid as ice. So are the candles on freestanding sconces around the room. Still giving dim light, they nevertheless shatter into slush if touched. The throne is occupied by a dark figure, silhouetted. Her shadow paces catlike along the floor in front of the throne, cast by the candlelight.

She leans forward and speaks. This is Shade, and each time she speaks, a golden gem affixed in a collar encircling her throat glows dully, as if capturing the power of her voice. She welcomes the characters and tells them how impressed she is with them. There is, in fact, room in her organization for them if they wish to join her, and boundless rewards of money and power to be had. Anyone that takes her up on this must demonstrate loyalty by handing over Moon to Shade.

Play Shade as sexy, charming, intelligent, and sympathetic. She is not some dark, gloating villain perched on the throne. She will tell the characters that they are special, Immortal, and being used by the other Immortals, just as she was. Now she’s a free spirit and in control of her own fate. So why not join her? The Maker, of course, will counter that Shade is psychotic, that she was banished for abusing her power, and that the collar she wears is a punishment for crimes too bizarre to even describe.

Moon must sit on the throne to finish healing and regain full power over the Mantle of Babylon.

This means someone must drag Shade off of the throne. Doing so is going to be surprisingly easy if the characters can get through the Twins who arrive to defend her in their shadowy spider forms. The collar binds Shade’s powers, and she really has only her wits, her skills and her seductive powers to rely on.

The characters will have a real chance to fight the Twins now. Because they are in the sanctuary of the Maker, they gain a +2 bonus to all rolls, which should even the odds a bit. The Twins cannot control the interior reality of the palace, so they must rely on brute force.

Shade is delighted to see Moon here. Given the opportunity, she will trace her fingernails seductively across Moon’s tattoos with a look of absolute greed in her eyes. “Such power, such mysteries and wonders! I will have a gown made of this magical skin!” she breathes.

Shade Defeated

Since the Main Cast will have a bonus of +2 in every roll, courtesy of the Maker, they will be tougher to deal with. The Twins will only fight until one is badly injured, then will try to retreat – but will never abandon the other.

If the characters get past the Twins and subdue Shade, the Maker becomes the trump card when she ascends the throne, healing completely and having complete power over the Babylonian Mantle. At this point, Shade and the Twins are weakened to the point where the characters can make anything they want of them.

If the Twins are killed, Shade will seethe with rage and swear revenge on the Cast Members but will not show it: as her Vox is trapped in her collar, should she be killed, it won’t be able of creating her a new body, effectively causing Shade to perish for good – so, if she ends this story alive, the Cast will have earned a very determined and resourceful Adversary who will hunt them to the ends of the Earth, if needed be. If the Twins are captured, the Maker will ask the Cast to hand them over to the Immortals outside the Mantle. She gives the Cast Members an email address to contact and promises to put in a good word for their help.

Shade Triumphant

Another possible ending is that Shade, in the midst of the battle between the Twins and the characters, will produce a dagger and bury it in the throat of Moon, if she it not stopped. The dagger growls and the sound of sucking blood is heard in the throat of the Maker. The dagger will slowly extract the Vox of the Maker and when it finishes, she disintegrates in a spray of red light. Anyone watching the dagger sees the stolen Vox slowly emerge on the blade as a gemlike barb. The dagger now contains the wonders of Pandora’s Vox. The characters will have other chances to steal this artefact back from Shade. Moon was the primary target of Shade, but she will also claim the Mantle for her master, the Sanguinary. Whether the characters opposed her or not, Shade has them subdued and prepared as sacrifices. She then leaves to prepare herself for the summoning of an avatar of the Sanguinary to enter this Mantle.

The characters escape their fate by the timely arrival of Joker, who has been watching them, and frees them from their prison. He also frees Cutter, who seems to both know and dislike him. Together, they lead the Main Cast to the razed temple.

 

Act Five: The Prophecy

 

 

An Ominous Prophecy

When the characters return to the razed temple, they see the statue of Semiramis, coated with the viscous saliva of the droves, has undergone its complete transformation into a scorpion-spider-serpent-mantis thing. As the characters prepare to depart through the burnt mural, the statue moves, turning its head and facing the Immortal characters directly. In a soft voice, so overpoweringly beautiful that the characters must make a Difficulty Willpower roll (with a penalty of –3 to Himsati Immortals) to avoid weeping, it says: “You run away from your true destiny, my children, from the tender embrace of your mother, your father, your one true god. But there is still redemption even for those such as you. Sooner or later, you will return to the womb of your creator and rest forever in the warm, silent arms of oblivion.”

Wrapping Things Up

No matter what happens, the Main Cast should escape. They arrive back in the same theatre that provided the gate. Cutter thanks them for their help and tells them that Phoenix will send for them when the time is right, if they are not afraid of fighting the one true evil known as the Sanguinary. All arrive in the same movie theatre in the real world. All walk out into a deserted parking lot. The world is normal and it is 3 a.m. As a dark sedan pulls up, Cutter gets in, and there seems to be other people sitting in the car, watching them. The Cast Members will catch a faint glimpse of glowing eyes as the door that admitted Cutter closes. The final impression should be that Cutter changed into something as he entered the dark car, something shiny and deadly. Unfortunately, the Cast didn’t get a clear look to make sure. The car will drive away, and even if it followed, it will lose them.

 

 

 

 

Adversaries

 

Shade

Leading this assault into the Mantle is Shade, a bitter Immortal who was exiled from her people, the Shadowen, and was collared with a mystical artefact that prevents her from using the power of her voice. Shade has found a way around this inconvenience by allying herself with the Sanguinary, who has promised her greater power if she successfully captures Moon. She wears the Skinwalker, the skin of the Sanguinary itself that gives her mystical power. The Skinwalker’s abilities are detailed in the section dealing with Shade’s characteristics. Shade is a clever and strong-willed villain, motivated by hatred and a deep-seated feeling of betrayal by her own people. Her glaring flaw, exploited by the Sanguinary, is her lust for power. Through her mysterious servants, the Twins, Shade has learned that Moon possesses Pandora’s Vox, and she knows well the history of the Thief of Wonders and the priceless hoard of power contained inside the Vox. She secretly plans to betray the Sanguinary when she is in possession of the Vox and its Wonders.

Shade is a beautiful woman with red hair and mismatched eyes (one is blue, the other green).

She wears a Collar of Silence to stop her powers, but she makes up for this liability with cleverness and protection by the Twins.

 

Court: N/A (formerly Court of Shadows)

Calling: Scourge

Himsati Form: Shadow (Shadow Elemental)

Strength: 4                    Intelligence: 7
Dexterity: 6                   Perception: 5
Constitution: 4               Willpower: 5

Life Points: 55               Endurance Points: 44

Speed: 20                      Essence Points: 56

Drawbacks: Covetous (Power) 3, Cruel 2

Qualities: Attractiveness +4, Charisma +3, Himsati Immortal, Situational Awareness

Skills: Smooth Talking 6, Seduction 7, Hand Weapon (Dagger) 5, and others as deemed necessary by the Chronicler.

Weapons: The Sanguinary’s Fang (Damage: D8 x Strength): this deadly dagger will drain the Life Points of anyone else it wounds, 10 LP per turn (as long as it remains in the wound), until the rating has fallen below a 0. Five turns after that, the Vox of the victim is sucked out through the wound, travelling the entire length of the body if necessary. The Vox is added to the dagger, increasing its power. If the dagger kills Moon, it inherits the wonders of Pandora’s Vox and retrieving it in the future becomes vital. The powers of the Fang are unusable by any Cast Member.

Items: The Skinwalker-This creature is made from the skin of the Sanguinary. Seven of them exist, each one with great power over one of the deadly sins (sloth, greed, envy, lust, gluttony, anger and pride). This Skinwalker commands the power of lust, allowing Shade to seduce anyone she desires. Among its many abilities, the Skinwalker gives Shade a bonus of +5 to her seduction skill.

The Collar of Silence

The Shadowen, enforcers of the law of the Immortals, created these artefacts to effectively mute an Immortal’s Vox, cutting them off from their powers until the collar is removed. Only a Scourge of the Court of Shadow can remove these items once they are placed on the throat of an Immortal. The collars appear like Victorian dog collars with a protruding ring inset in a shard of dark stone.

 

The Twins

Exiled with Shade are her two “sisters,” the Twins. Members of her Shadowen triad, they share her dishonour, banishment, and hatred of Sanctuary and all its inhabitants. The Twins are inhuman, silent and patient stalkers, unmoved by mercy or remorse. They believe in Shade’s cause and are unswervingly loyal to her.

The twins appear as identical giant spiders in this story. In human form both are very beautiful and are always dressed in black fabric created from their own shadows. They wear sunglasses (also made from hardened shadow) to cover up their frightening eyes. The characters will not see their eyes under any circumstances during this story.

Court: N/A (formerly Court of Shadows)

Calling: Slayer

Himsati Form: Shadow (Shadow Elemental)

 

 
Strength: 7                    Intelligence: 4
Dexterity: 6                   Perception: 6
Constitution: 5               Willpower: 5

Life Points: 75               Endurance Points: 56

Speed: 22                      Essence Points: 58

Drawbacks: Cruel 2

Qualities: Attractiveness +3, Himsati Immortal.

Skills: Brawling 6, Hand Weapon (Sword) 6, and others as deemed necessary by the Chronicler.

Weapons: Broadsword (Damage: D8 x Strength).

Powers: The Twins can travel through any shadow – this power works exactly like the Major Invocation Walkgate. Their normal method is to rise up out of shadows on the ground, trapping their prey. They cast shadows, which can congeal into animal forms and fight for them, usually spiders, biting with a Dexterity and Brawling of 4, and damage of D4 x 2.

 

Droves

These are mortal creatures that serve the Sanguinary. Their spirit is drained to nothing, and they thus burn with a tiny spark of the Sanguinary’s immense consciousness. They are always in a Himsati form that shares the attributes of many creatures. No two are identical, although there are numerous subgroups. This makes them look alien and contributes to their deadliness. The Narrator can assign additional Himsati natures to customize these dangerous foes.

Droves (Ragers)

Strength: 5                    Intelligence: 2
Dexterity: 3                   Perception: 2
Constitution: 5               Willpower: N/A

Life Points: 50               Endurance Points: 29

Speed: 16                      Essence Points: 17

Skills: Brawling 3

Weapons: Claws (Damage – D6 x (Strength +1)), Bite (Damage – D8 x (Strength + 1)),

 

Droves (Questors)

Questors are less exotic looking than their many horned, barbed, alien superiors, looking more like normal animals with a few incongruous traits. They can be any colour.

Strength: 3                    Intelligence: 1
Dexterity: 2                   Perception: 2
Constitution: 2               Willpower: N/A

Life Points: 30               Endurance Points: 20

Speed: 8                        Essence Points: 13

Skills: Brawling 2

Weapons: Claws (Damage – D4 x Strength), Bite (Damage – D6 x (Strength + 1)),

 

 

Allies

Moon

The choice of this Mantle for invasion is no accident. In this case it is Moon herself that is the prize, and the invaders want her alive at all costs. Having stolen an artefact known as Pandora’s Vox from the other Immortals, Moon has merged physically with this Vox, an action forbidden by Immortal law, and has inherited its powers and the wonders it contains. She is now Immortal. The invaders of the Mantle of Babylon want to possess Moon and the Vox within her throat.

 

 

Cutter

Cutter is a Slayer from the Court of War, sent by Phoenix to rescue Moon. He’s efficient, lethal and combat-savvy. Unfortunately for him, his Vox awakened very early, and he is now trapped in the body of a blond, cherub-like 13-year-old. He doesn’t let that bother him too much, however, and uses it to his favour, by making his opponent underestimate him.

Court: Court of War

Calling: Slayer

Himsati Form: Wolf

Strength: 6                    Intelligence: 4
Dexterity: 7                   Perception: 5
Constitution: 5               Willpower: 6

Life Points: 70               Endurance Points: 56

Speed: 20                      Essence Points: 58

Drawbacks: Humourless, Charisma -1

Qualities: Attractiveness +3, Charisma +3, Himsati Immortal, Fast Reaction Time, Nerves of Steel.

Skills: Hand Weapon (Sword: Broad Sword) 8, Shian Rhi 3, Brawling 6.

Weapons: Broadsword (Damage: D8 x Strength).

 

 

Joker

Only one of Moon’s guardians escaped the genocide at Babylon. He fled rather than face the fatal odds. He has managed to elude capture thus far and is hiding inside the razed temple. The characters are unlikely to meet him in this story, but he will watch them from afar. Later, he will return to Phoenix and report to him about the characters and their performance in this crisis.

 

The Others

Moon has allies who she is friendly with, particularly a mysterious figure known as Phoenix who orchestrated her successful theft of Pandora’s Vox and who leads the pantheon Joker is a member of. Noting that Joker has not reported in, Phoenix has dispatched a Slayer from the Court of War named Cutter to see to Moon’s safety. Phoenix wants to preserve Moon at all costs—she is vital to his future plans.

 

 

Cast Members

Since two of the pre-made Cast Members here are unawakened Immortals, their stats are not final: the number to the left represents the final value after their Vocci awaken.

 

Hannah Torres

Junior Arts Student and unawakened Himsati Immortal

When Hannah’s former Avatar went to Lethe, she delivered herself to a family of Custodians who had always served her faithfully – and faithfully they watched over the new incarnation of their Goddess, raising her as their true daughter and oblivious to whom she really is… and was.

Since a while, though, Hannah has began having strange dreams, and her parents have noticed it and kept a closer surveillance around her, expecting her to awaken soon. In the meantime, they contacted another friendly Immortal whom they know for a few years who is also keeping an eye on her, when her parents are not able of doing so: with the help of his Court, Professor Marcus Sanders has secured a place as her main lecturer, and, strangely, they hit it off quite well. She can be found quite often in his office talking or playing chess (which has started some nasty rumours about the origin of her grades).

Hannah is a small-framed, slender raven-haired girl, with a pretty, but slightly too serious face, with deep, intelligent hazel eyes surrounded by large eyelashes.

Known Avatars: Athena
Court: N/A (formerly Court of War)
Calling: Tactician

Himsati Form: Owl

Strength: 2                    Intelligence: 3 / 5
Dexterity: 3 / 5              Perception: 2 / 5
Constitution: 2               Willpower: 3 / 6

Life Points: 26 / 35        Endurance Points: 26 / 35

Speed: 10 / 14               Essence Points: 25 / 50

Drawbacks: Humourless, Emotional Problems (Fear of Rejection), Honourable – 1.

Qualities: Attractiveness +4, Fast Reaction Time, Increased Essence Pool (2 levels), Himsati Immortal, Nerves of Steel.

Skills: Acrobatics 2, Computer 2, Dodge 3, Humanities (History) 3, Language (French) 3, Language (German) 2, Martial Arts (TewKwonDo) 1, Notice 2, Research 2, Smooth Talking 1, Sport (Fencing) 3.

(Memory Points Skills: Shian Rhi 1, Trance 1, Hand Weapon (Swords) 4)

Unspent Memory Points: 2

Natures: Beauty, Deafen, Flight, Natural Weaponry.

Powers: Abbadon 4, Cantabile 3, Memoir 3.

 

 

 

Marcus Sanders, PhD

Ancient and Medieval History Professor, and Mentor of the Court of Fate

 

Professor Sanders has only years awakened to his immortal self 5 years ago – before, he was another normal scholar, with a deep love of both gathering knowledge and distributing it. But then he was discovered – a group of Droves attacked his home searching for him. Seeing his wife and children slaughtered drove him into a fit of rage, causing his Vox to awaken and destroy the unholy creatures. He was timely rescued by the Society, who helped him escape the police and the mundane neighbours who wanted to know what had passed. Since then, he dedicated himself to learn as much as he could with the Perpetual Society – but recently he received the task of accompanying the awakening of a new Immortal. The Professor has become rather fond of the girl and spends as much time as he can with her, no doubt due to his Mentor Calling. However, he still has nightmares of what happened to his family – and when he wakes up, he remembers every single moment.

He is a tall man, with greying hair, in his early 40s. He moves with a grace and majesty that would be more suited to a ruler than a simple scholar, and his deep green eyes are truly mesmerizing. Overall, he gives the impression of still being who he once was: a master of knowledge.

Known Avatars: Taliesin

Court: Court of Fate

Calling: Mentor

Himsati Form: Serpent

Strength: 4                    Intelligence: 6
Dexterity: 4                   Perception: 3
Constitution: 4               Willpower: 4

 Life Points: 55               Endurance Points: 41

 Speed: 16                      Essence Points: 50

Drawbacks: Honourable 2, Recurring Nightmare.

Qualities: Attractiveness +1, Charisma +4, Himsati Immortal.

Skills: Dodge 2, Hand Weapon (Sword) 3, Humanities (History: Ancient) 4, Humanities (History: Medieval) 4, Instruction 4, Language (German) 2, Language (Latin) 3, Language (Gaelic) 3, Language (Ancient Greek) 2, Myth and Legend (Himsati Immortal) Notice 3, Occult Knowledge 4, Research / Investigation 3, Storytelling 1, Smooth Talking 3, Writing (Poetry) 2.

Unspent Memory Points: 0

Natures: Commune with Species (Serpents); Terrible Countenance, Camouflage, Mesmerize Poison

Powers: Brio 2, Cantabile 4, Memoir 3, Nostrum 1.

 

 

Michael “Mike” Muller, Esq.

Philanthropist and Lesser Gifted Rosicrucian.

Michael Muller could have it all. And he did. But instead of letting himself be spoilt, he used what he had to help others. He walked in the higher circles of society, but he found things too false and too boring. Until one day, he helped a strange girl who he nearly ran over. She was quite wounded, but before he could ask what was going on, he saw it: it was hideous, all claws and teeth and it jumped to get at the girl. Acting by instinct, he pulled her into the car, stepped on it, and ran the creature over. Without knowing where he had got the cold blood from, he ran it several times over, just in case. The girl was very wounded and gave him an address for him to take her.

Several months later, his Gift manifested and he joined the ranks of the Rosicrusians – he can be often found throwing large parties, where he flirts with danger, for he uses them to lure possible members of the Sere Rose into the open, who are known to enjoy walking in the highest social circles to better indulge themselves. During one of those parties, his good friend William Frame, the famed writer, was killed during a confrontation with strange creatures unlike any he had seen before – and he found himself fighting side by side with a professor, who managed to wield a sword like he was straight out some fantasy film. After the return of his friend as a Vampyre, the three became close allies and friends and will run to each other aid, no matter what the situation.

Strength: 2                    Intelligence: 4
Dexterity: 3                   Perception: 3
Constitution: 3               Willpower: 5

Life Points: 30               Endurance Points: 29

Speed: 12                      Essence Points: 35

Drawbacks: Honourable 2

Qualities: Charisma +2, Essence Channelling 2, Gift, Increased Essence Pool 3 levels, Resources 3,

Skills: Computers 1, Driving (Car) 2, Fine Arts (Painting) 2, Humanities (History) 2, Language (Latin) 3, Language (German) 2, Magic Theory 3, Notice 3, Play Instrument (Piano) 1, Rituals (Rosicrucian) 3, Seduction 2, Smooth Talking 3, Storytelling 3.

Powers: Consecration 1, Shielding 2, Soulfire 2, Spirit Mastery (Elementals) 1.

 

Randy Schneider

Junior Engineering Student and unawakened Himsati Immortal.

 

 

Life is good for Randy Schneider: loving (and wealthy) parents, his own car, and several girls begging for him to take them out. Well, life would be perfect if he hadn’t to put up with Lil’ Miss Perfect Torres – they had grown up together, and she had always been his most hated rival – every plan he made to pick on the neighbourhood girls would be foiled by her, or if it hadn’t, she would exact a terrible revenge (like that time she managed to steal his mother’s bras and hide them in his tree house – he got grounded for two weeks because of that). And, of course, no-one would believe that her could have done it – not with her serious little face, which the grown-ups liked so much. And then she ruined it all: she suddenly stopped having time to yell at him from her bedroom window when he deliberately strips with the curtains open, nor does she seek revenge when he opens his sprinklers on her when she returns home in the evening – and she never ever returned to the treehouse. She spends most of her time with some lecturer in college… if he didn’t know her better, he could have sworn she was blowing for her grades. The only place he can find her alone now is at the Pub, where one of her girlfriends works. Until now the Professor hasn’t shown up, and it better stay that way, or things might get a lot ugly. Love does indeed suck.

Randy is a handsome young man, in a sort of predatory, dangerous way. He dresses in good clothes, chosen to better enhance his body and looks. His hair is dark brown, with a few tints of auburn, and he wears it by the middle of his back, often tied in a ponytail.

Known Avatars: Ares

Court: N/A (formerly Court of War)

Calling: Slayer

Himsati Form: Hound

Strength: 3 / 5                Intelligence: 2 / 3
Dexterity: 2 / 4              Perception: 2 / 4
Constitution: 3 / 4           Willpower: 3

Life Points: 34 / 60        Endurance Points: 32 / 41

Speed: 10 / 16               Essence Points: 15 / 50

Drawbacks: Cruel –1, Reckless, Showoff.

Qualities: Charisma +2, Himsati Immortal, Nerves of Steel, Resources +1.

 

Skills: Brawling 3, Computer 3, Dodge 2, Driving (Car) 2, First Aid 1, Engineering 3, Science (Chemistry) 2, Intimidation 2, Seduction 2, Smooth Talking 2, Streetwise 2.

(Memory Points Skills: Hand Weapon (Sword: Broadsword) 5, Dodge +2 Bonus, Intimidation +1 Bonus).

Unspent Memory Points: 0

Natures: Armour, Natural Weaponry (2 levels), Terrible Countenance.

Powers: Abbadon 5, Gremlin 3, Brio 4.

 

Theresa “Tessa” Bishop

Proud Daughter of the Highlands and Gifted Wicce.

 

Theresa was young when she left her natal Scotland, but she still yearns for it. The mountains call to her, and she feels suffocating in the city. She discovered her Gift almost instinctively, as, one day, she unconsciously followed an Essence flow that lead her to a Wicce gathering. Since then, she has been part of the Covenant, and since her parents died, she finds the mountains calling for her louder and louder. The only reason she hasn’t returned is that knows she’ll miss her friends at the Covenant, as well as her best friend, Hannah. So, for the time being she waits patiently, waitressing at the “Irish Spirit Pub”, where she is quite popular with the patrons, although she abhors being mistaken for an Irish lass, when she is, actually, 100% Scottish. Her fire-red mane, cascading in large waves down to her waist and her green eyes help people make that erroneous assumption, as does her impressive height (6ft. tall.) – which makes her resemble the ideal Celtic warrioress that lives in the imaginary of many.

Strength: 2                    Intelligence: 3
Dexterity: 3                   Perception: 3
Constitution: 2               Willpower: 4

Life Points: 26               Endurance Points: 29

Speed: 10                      Essence Points: 41

Drawbacks: Emotional Problems (Fear of Commitment) 1.
Qualities: Attractiveness +2, Essence Channelling (4 levels), Increased Essence Pool (4 Levels), Gift.

Skills: Brawling 2, Crafts (Cooking) 2, Driving (Car) 2, First Aid 3, Humanities (Wicce Theology) 2, Occult Knowledge 3, Rituals (Wicce) 2, Smooth Talking 2, Stealth 1, Survival (Mountain) 1.

Powers: Elemental Air 2, Elemental Fire 2, Healing 2, Mindsight Strength 2. Mindsight Art 2.

 

Sir William Frame

Writer, Bon Vivant and unaffiliated Vampyre.

Sir Frame was a well renowned writer, and it was indeed a loss to the world when he died during a party, not due to drug abuse, but instead, by the claw of a monstrous creature. However, the British gentleman had decided that his time had indeed not yet come, perhaps because there were still so many new sensations to experiment and to write about. And so his soul refused the entrance to the Land of the Dead, and returned to his body instead.

If in life he had been an epicurist, he hadn’t changed in death – and that shows by his most favoured method of gathering Essence: that of inducing sexual ecstasy, although he also resorts to feed on the emotions he creates with his work.

Being a Vampyre doesn’t bother him at all – he is a gentleman, after all –and since his long-time friends are respectively an Immortal and a Magician, he does not feel dislocated at all.

Sir William Frame is a clearly British man, in his 40s, with dark blonde hair and light blue eyes. He always dresses correctly and amuses himself secretly by exaggerating his britishness.

Strength: 5                    Intelligence: 5
Dexterity: 6                   Perception: 3
Constitution: 6               Willpower: 4

Life Points: 54               Endurance Points: N/A

Speed: 24                      Essence Points: 49

Drawbacks: Covetous (Self-Gratification) 1, Cruel 1, Honourable 1, Showoff 2.

Qualities: Artistic Talent, Attractiveness +2, Charisma +2, Essence Channelling 1, Resources +3, Vampyre.

Skills: Acting 2, Humanities (Literature) 2, Notice2, Occult Knowledge 2, Research/Investigation 2, Seduction 1, Smooth Talking 3, Sport (Boxing) 1, Sport (Fencing) 2, Writing (Prose) 5, Writing (Poetry) 3.

Powers: Common Vampyre Powers, Common Vampyre Frailties, Bard, Manipulate Emotions, Muse.

 

Chapter 9: Appendix

Appendix

 

CURSES

"Curses are our reminder that this world is the only pure realm left. It is our last bastion against our ancient foes."

Whisper, Court of Fate

 
Below is a large list of ideas that both Chroniclers and players can use. They can make excellent material for ideas for Fugue Triggers as well, since many Fugue Triggers can be related to various Curses, and they can even be used for new Supernatural Drawbacks. This list is only here to serve as example, as Chroniclers are free to come up with hundreds of ideas for new curses and rate them accordingly

· The Immortal cannot cross a threshold without knocking, being invited, etc. The Immortal cannot leave an area if anyone is looking at him. Doors the Immortal goes through lead to places other than where they are supposed. The Immortals cannot open doors or pass other barriers himself. The Immortal cannot pass onto holy ground.

· The smell/sight of some common thing (roses, garlic, milk, perfume, human sweat, certain symbols, food, etc.) becomes nauseating to the Immortal.

· When she is passionate (or angry, lustful, extremely joyous, etc.) the Immortal's eyes glow, she makes sounds like her Himsati, she partially shape-shifts, etc.

· The Immortal cannot be seen in mirrors or captured on film or video or audio or some combination. The Immortal's image remains on mirrors for a period of time after walking away from it.

· The Immortal casts the shadow of his Himsati when in human form, the shadow of his human form when in Himsati. The Immortal's shadow pushes other shadows out of its way.

· The Immortal develops a common bane deformity permanently (forked tongue, premature white hair, odd coloured eyes, eyes of his Himsati, an extra digit on each hand, fangs, hooked or clawed nails, etc.).

· The Immortal's voice reverberates when she talks, or speaks with the combined voice of her avatars. Her voice causes pain to mortals around her who can hear her speak. Her spoken words appear as graffiti on walls nearby. The Immortal cannot speak unless asked a question or spoken to.

· Fire burns an unusual colour, burns cold, intensifies, goes out, starts, dims, etc., in the presence of the Immortal. Nothing will burn at all in the Immortal's presence.

· Objects stain, warp, tarnish, rust, age, change colours, etc., when the Immortal touches them.

Alternatively they could move away when the Immortal nears them, toys could animate near the Immortal, etc.

· Plants wither, warp, move, flourish/bloom, or try to grab the Immortal when in her presence. Food products rot/spoil/come alive again, in the Immortal's presence.

· It is always darker, colder, warmer, brighter, the shadows are deeper, etc. around the Immortal.

· Wherever the Immortal's shadow touches, that area/thing collects a film of dust, is stained with blood, changes colour, burns, etc.

· The Immortal's hair and clothes are constantly blown about by an unseen, unheard wind. The Immortal's hair turns to tentacles or snakes and strikes others around him at random.

· The Immortal cannot eat in the presence of others or must consume amounts of food far more than normal to be satisfied.

· The Immortal's shadow pushes other shadows out of the way.

· The Immortal attracts certain types of animals (birds, mice, cats, etc.), mortal media, crime, plagues, children who are fascinated with his magical nature, fog or storms follow him and herald his approach into a city, etc.

· The Immortal is constantly mistaken for someone else, dead loves ones, lost friends, famous people, etc.

· The Immortal is magnetized, cries tears of blood, coughs up strange objects, sheds his skin like a snake, gives off a strange pungent odour, his hair turns to glass/metal when cut, etc.

· Objects fall from shelves, pictures on walls tilt at odd angles, objects become "lost", candles and wax melt into strange shapes, etc. in the Immortal's presence.

· Buttons and clasps fall off of others in the Immortal's presence.

· The Immortal inspires jealousy in mortals, gives them "goose bumps", makes them nauseous, causes nightmares or hallucinations, etc., whenever they are in his presence

· The Immortal has mental delusions (being watched, followed, hears voices that aren't there, etc.) The Immortal suffers from stigmata or psychosomatic appearance of wounds that do not invoke pain.

· Dwellings the Immortal enters act on their own accord (becoming cluttered, unorganized, doors slamming on their own, furniture rearranging itself when no one is looking, etc.)

· The Immortal becomes fascinated with certain objects, symbols, smells, etc.

· The Immortal's skin is an odd shade (bluish, greenish, rosy, etc. but not enough to truly look bizarre.) or feels like fur, scales, bark, etc. but looks completely normal, or is hot/cold to the touch.

· Knives (or other bladed weaponry) become dull in the Immortal's hands; normal items become edged and cut those who handle them, including the Immortal.

· The Immortal's presence causes bygone radio broadcasts to repeat over radios playing in his vicinity, or scrambles television and/or radio signals, or turns non-Immortal made music twisted and warped sounding, movies talk interactively with the Immortal, etc.

· The Immortal's reflection cracks mirrors, his voice breaks glass when he sings (or speaks).

· The Immortal must shout/whisper whenever he talks, or perhaps whenever he tells a lie.

· The Immortal leaves wet footprints or animal footprints in human form (and vice versa) wherever she goes.

· Liquids evaporate rapidly when the Immortal is nearby. Water turns to blood when she touches it. Beverages effervesce in the Immortal's presence.

· The Immortal is allergic to a certain substance (sunlight, silver, garlic, wood, holy items), and takes a pain penalty when near them or additional damage when struck by them.

· The Immortal must assume her Himsati under a certain conditions (full moon, when in water, etc.) or can only change back and forth during certain times or conditions.

· Mortals she's thinking of can hear the Immortal's thoughts.

· The Immortal may not directly tell a lie, or may not directly tell the truth.

· The Immortal cannot abide the presence of blood (even a menstruating woman), or great beauty.

· The Immortal's heartbeat is faintly audible, even if she is invisible.

· Electrical devices in the vicinity of the Immortal experience surges, brown out, or begin to act wildly and strange. Machines will not work for the Immortal without the use of serenades such as Gremlin.

· The Immortal is a plague carrier, be it mortal or technical (a computer virus for example)

· Things run backwards (watches, drains, running water, etc.) in the Immortal's vicinity.

· The Immortal assumes the form of one of his avatars on the avatar's birthday and cannot change back until the day has passed. The Immortal changes into one of his avatars at random each night and changes back at dawn. The Immortal assumes the form of a child in the presence of mortals.

· Animals cry out whenever the Immortal's name is mentioned, birds speak his thoughts aloud, thunder cracks whenever the Immortal is struck, and other odd sources of sound can occur.

· The Immortal's breath coats objects in frost.

· The Immortal only gains nutrition from certain things or can only eat certain things (raw meat, flesh, drinking blood, liquids, plants, sex, etc.

· The Immortal's sense of sensations is reversed (experiences pleasure as pain, etc.)

· The Immortal's presence causes animals to fight one another.

· The Immortal may not use serenades during the day.

· The Immortal cannot refuse a request for her aid.

· The Immortal can only sleep surrounded in earth or in some other circumstance.

· Anyone the Immortal kills reanimates and hunts for her.

· The Immortal has the overwhelming urge to kill his sexual partners the Immortal cannot play serenades for 24 hours after not being chaste; the Immortal gains sustenance only from intimacy; anyone the Immortal loves becomes a magnet for danger.

· Mortals age in the Immortal's presence.

· Printed words the Immortal reads become scrambled on the page.

· The Immortal's kiss is poisonous, his touch causes orgasms or pain or some other sensation in Immortals and cannot be stopped.

· Sunlight causes the Immortal to turn to stone, burn, etc. The Immortal glows under moonlight.

 

Himsati Specific Curses

We provide a small number of example ideas should the Narrator deem that the curse be related to the Immortal's specific Himsati. This can be the case if the curse was gained while the character had Himsati natures active during the gaining of the curse.

INSECTS/ARACHNIDS
·
Buzzing insect sounds accompany the Immortal, the Immortal makes insect sounds while sleeping

· The Immortal is afraid of birds, spiders, etc.

· Things the Immortal touches become covered in webbing

· The Immortal has compound eyes

· Alcohol harms the Immortal or the Immortal cannot abide it

· The Immortal is inactive in colder temperatures

· The Immortal's blood turns into stinging/biting insects that attack all around the Immortal (including the Immortal) when it is spilled.

· Insects double in size and become aggressive around the Immortal

· The Immortal undergoes a complete metamorphosis of his human form each season

· The Immortal's touch leaves painful insect bite marks on those he cares for.

 

REPTILES/AMPHIBIANS

· The Immortal's eyes turn reptilian or he makes reptilian or amphibious noises when angry, lustful, etc.

· The Immortal leaves a slimy coating on anything he sits on (like a frog)

· The Immortal is attracted to water

· The Immortal snores by croaking like a frog when asleep

· The Immortal is completely hairless except his head

· The Immortal has a set of retractable fangs or forked tongue

· The Immortal's hands and feet are webbed, or shaped more like a slender lizard.

· He sheds his skin, eats insects, smells like a reptile, can't breathe air

· His tongue is elongated and sticky and gives him a speech impairment

· Makes rattlesnake noises when about to attack (even when trying to be stealthy).

· Tadpoles spontaneously generate in any water the Immortal touches, drinks, etc.

· Is fascinated or afraid of reptiles, considers human prey

· His hair is transforms to snakes, is legless in water, becomes too stiff to move in cold temperatures

 

BIRDS

· Feathers appear in the area after the Immortal leaves

· Casts a bird shadow, his reflection in human form is that of his Himsati

· Only four digits on each hand, sleeps standing up

· Makes a goose honk sound when startled

· Migrates each fall, is fascinated by high places, builds a nest out of handy materials to sleep in

· Must swallow small stones to grind food up

· Part of his body is feathered

· Can only see well at great distances

· Can't speak but must sing like a bird

· Causes females he touches to become pregnant and lay an egg that hatches into a bird

· Is fascinated with small and/or shiny objects

 

MAMMALS

· The Immortal is hairy, has unusual ears, pants like a dog when hot, has whiskers

· Becomes exceedingly territorial

· Acts like he has fleas all the time

· Must sleep outdoors

· Head only changes into Himsati form at specific times or circumstances

· Is a carrier of rabies

· Has hoofed feet and animal like legs

· Sleepwalks in Himsati form during full moons

· Presence in an area sends mammals into killing frenzies

 

AQUATIC HIMSATIS

· Leaves wet footprints

· Fresh water turns salty near the Immortal

· Bleeds salt water instead of blood

· Smells like brine

· Has no eyelids

· Must keep skin wet or loses youth and beauty until the skin is made wet again.

· Has barbells (fleshy whiskers around the mouth like a catfish).

· Can only see in shades of green, blue and violet like a fish

· Has gill slits

· Presence causes rip tides, high winds, large waves

· Body becomes encrusted with barnacles

· Arms turn into tentacles

· Must submerge self in water to turn into Himsati or to turn back

 

ESOTERIC HIMSATIS (Elementals and Plant Himsatis)

· Fire burns weird colours near the Immortal

· Rooms get darker when the Immortal enters

· Plants touched suddenly bloom

· Metal tarnishes around the Immortal or at his touch

· Ice melts into strange shapes

· Flames burn cold in his presence

· His voice just shatters glass

· His human shadow bites anything in the area, painful but causes no wounds

· Touch cracks stone

· Must remain in the sunlight to digest his food

· Touch causes frostbite

· If the Immortal shouts, lightning strikes nearby. His voice is as loud as thunder.

· Sunlight burns the Immortal

 

Glossary

Abzulim: First race of Immortals, formed from the earliest terrestrial creatures; now extinct.

Avatar: Persona created by Lethe, stored in the Vox.

Believers: Humans who willingly assist Immortals.

Bright Bloods: Humans, usually allies to Immortals, who reincarnate often and whose faith allows them to control the Essence flows.

Calling: Purpose within the Perpetual Society.

Chimera: Immortal with multiple Himsati forms, originally created by the Abzulim.

Court: Gathering of Immortals with a similar purpose and sphere of influence

Creche: Capitol of a Court’s primary Mantle, their main stronghold.

Elementals: Immortals created from elementals.

Ennui: Disconnection from the body, an unaware state; often caused by the weight of experience or an emerging avatar.

Fugue: State of distraction, caused by the triggering of a memory from one of the Avatars.

Himsati Immortal’s original and true form.

Lethe: Process of submerging consciousness, storing the mind in a Vox, creating a new persona, and attaining physical rebirth.

Maker: Bright Blood whose power allows him to create and maintain a otherworld ream for his Immortal master.

Mantles: Realms located in the Twilight World, maintained by a Maker and inhabited by Immortals.

Naturals: Immortals created in the beginning with an animal Himsati.

Natures: Powers reminiscent of the Himsati form, such as claws, wings, etc.

Pantheon: Group of Immortals who works together.

Paragon: The leader of a Court.

Perpetual Society: The gathering of Immortals for the survivors of the Great Betrayal.

Primal: An Immortal formed from an element, energy, or plant rather than an animal.

Progeny: Human infected with Shards of the Sanguinary, or turn-coat Immortal.

Sanguinary: Mad God that seeks to restore its own form by cannibalizing the Vox of all Immortals.

Serenade: Use of the Vox and Essence to create a change in reality.

Shian-Rhi: Martial Art developed by Naturals Immortals, which is based on an Immortal’s shapeshifting abilities.

Triad: Group of three Shadowen forming a hunting pack.

Vox: Shard of the Sanguinary, located in the throat which stores the Avatars, allows Serenades, and is the main brain of the body.

Império RPG

Estamos num imaginário Portugal dos anos 40.

O Estado Novo mantém o país na mediocridade, enquanto o mundo está em guerra. O povo trabalha para sustentar a nação enquanto uma elite isolada desespera debaixo do jugo fascista e um pequeno grupo de priveligiados vive como realeza, donos do Império.

O país é um palco fértil de operações para a espionagem internacional. Agentes secretos de todas as nações procuram alianças e traições, segredos e informações, engodos e tesouros. Os brandos costumes e a neutralidade orgulhosamente só são um cartão de visita irrecusável para qualquer serviço secreto.

Tu és dos melhores da tua geração. Um génio, um líder, um atleta, uma pessoa acima da média em todos os aspectos. És um agente secreto, melhor até do que os que protagonizam os filmes a preto-e-branco. És reconhecido pelo teu valor e importãncia, sendo incumbido de missões do maior interesse nacional, numa das alturas mais decisivas para a espionagem mundial.

És movido não só pela tua lealdade a Portugal, mas principalmente pelos teus próprios motivos e desejos pessoais. Junto com outros como tu, moves-te num jogo entre aquilo que tem de ser feito e aquilo que fazes para teu benefício.

Tal como um príncipe de outros tempos, flutuas acima da rotina do dia-a-dia, mas não podes permitir que outros como tu façam uso do teu país. Neste xadrez de lealdades, até que ponto poderás te comprometer? Qual é o valor da tua pátria ou das tuas convicções?

 


Neste RPG bem português, o tema está centrado no conflito entre a defesa do bem comum - a tua pátria - e a procura dos teus interesses - o teu pecúlio. A história em si poderá começar por ser a missão mais simples do mundo, mas tu e os teus colegas têem muitos e outros planos. A guerra, a revolução e os segredos que se escondem nas sombras são uma ameaça ao futuro de todos. Chegou a altura de fazer pela vida ou de salvar a nação. É tua a escolha.

AnexoTamanho
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.pdf versão 0.2

Este ficheiro é uma compilação dos principais posts do thread the apresentação e discussão. Serve principalmente para juntar o material de base para iniciar o playtesting necessário.

AnexoTamanho
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Exemplo de uma Sessão

Este é o inicial example of play:

Mário, Vera, Rui e André estão a meio de uma sessão de jogo. Mário é o mestre-jogo e descreve o que se passa, enquanto cada um dos seus amigos interpreta a sua personagem: Vera é Amélia Correia, Rui é Àlvaro Magalhães e André é Guilherme Cavaleiro.

Mário: A esta hora, a rua está já deserta. Ainda não parou de chover e só quem quer se meter em sarilhos passeia por Lisboa à noite.

Vera: Eu paro o carro uns quarteirões antes do ponto de encontro.

André: Eu abro o envelope com as fotografias.

Mário: Tentas ver como ficaram. Há pouca luz.

Rui (como Àlvaro): "Ali. Debaixo do lampião."

Vera: Eu estaciono e olho em volta. "Já está na hora?"

André (como Guilherme): "Quero só ver como elas estão."

Mário: Em algumas fotos, a identificação é possível. Nas que não estão desfocadas, vê-se perfeitamente D. Fausto no seu jardim com as crianças.

Amélia: "O homem é nojento." (Vera abana a cabeça)

Guilherme: "Todos têem o seu ponto fraco." (André sorri e pisca o olho)

Àlvaro: "Pelo menos, é mais um factor que temos sob controlo. Agora, a mim, companheiros. Desejem-me sorte." - eu fecho a gabardine e saio do carro.

Guilherme: "Não te perdemos de vista." - eu guardo comigo o envelope.

Mário: Portanto, já decidiram o que vão fazer?

Vera: Já. O Àlvaro vai ter com o contacto da secreta francesa para lhes entregar a relíquia. Diz-lhes que a espada está aqui na mala do carro.

Rui: Vocês seguem a situação à distãncia e tentam, no momento certo, apanhar o contacto, e mais quaisquer outros que estejam com ele, para que possamos saber onde está a minha filha e salvá-la antes do final da noite.

André: Sem termos que ceder a espada.

Vera: Certo.

Mário: Através da chuva, vocês vêem o Àlvaro a afastar-se. Dão-lhe algum tempo, antes de o seguirem à distãncia.

Vera: De acordo com o que o nosso ex-comando aconselhou, vamos por uma rua paralela e tentamos chegar escondidos ao ponto de encontro antes dele, estando atentos a gente com a mesma ideia que nós.

Mário: Façam um teste para não serem vistos e para perceberem se há mais alguém.

Vera e André: (tiram cartas)

Mário: Vocês esgueiram-se através das ruas desertas, aproveitando as sombras das calçadas estreitas. Á distãncia, distinguem, por momentos, uma ínfima luz. Alguém a acender um cigarro. Pela posição, estará numa esquina com vista para a praceta.

Guilherme: "Pode ser e pode não ser."

Amélia: "Não podemos arriscar. De qualquer forma, se for dos franceses, é maçarico, podemos apanhá-lo já."

Guilherme: "Se ele faz barulho, a situação descontrola-se."

Amélia: "Usa isto, então." - eu passo-lhe o meu garrote - "Eu vou pela frente para lhe dizer olá."

Guilherme: "Sim, não podemos perder tempo. O Àlvaro deve estar a chegar lá." - eu rapidamente procuro um caminho à volta.

Vera: Eu vou mais devagar para lhe dar tempo.

Mário: Entretanto, Àlvaro, segues pela rua principal até à praceta. Não vês ninguém, mas os teus instintos sentem a tensão no ar. Quando fazes a curva, vês um carro parado e uma figura de pé ao lado dele.

Rui: Eu deixo-me ver, mas pouco mais me aproximo da praceta. Não gosto desse carro, pode ter mais alguém.

Mário: A figura, de chapéu e gabardine, parece já te ter visto. Olha para o relógio. Olha em volta. Há uma espécie de impasse.

Rui: Aproximo-me da luz de um lampião, mas mantenho a distãncia. Quero mostrar que estou sozinho, mas não sou estúpido.

Mário: A figura caminha lentamente na tua direcção. Começas a distinguir um homem, um rapaz dos seus pouco mais que vinte, bem vestido e com um porte confiante. Ele aproxima-se.

Àlvaro: "Ça va?" - não me mexo.

Mário (interpretando o homem): "C'est toi Magalhães?"

Àlvaro: "Sim, não se nota? A minha filha saiu ao pai."

Homem: "Perdão? Saiu?" (sotaque afrancesado)

Àlvaro: "Quero dizer que é parecida comigo."

Homem: "Ah, oui, pardon. Ela já está aqui em Lisboa, ela está bem. Melhor vai ficar se tivermos uma conclusão satisfatória da sua colaboração connosco, monsieur."

Àlvaro: "Assim espero."

André: É isso mesmo, Rui. Precisamos de tempo para controlar a situação. Já cheguei ao nosso fumador?

Mário: Faz um teste para ele não te detectar. É relativamente fácil, ele está atento ao que se passa na praceta.

André: (tira cartas)

Mário: Amélia, tu vês uma cabeça a espreitar da esquina, olhando para o ponto de encontro. Podes supõr que o Àlvaro já chegou lá.

Vera: Começou o espetáculo. Caminho na direcção dele, contando que o Guilherme já teve tempo para lhe chegar pelo outro lado.

Mário: Ele deita o cigarro ao chão e apaga-o com o pé. Não parece ter-se apercebido de ti, Guilherme.

André: Vou mais encostado à parede e estico o garrote.

Mário: Já estás bastante próximo. Na escuridão, distingues, que ele tira qualquer coisa do bolso. Ele verifica um pequeno revólver e volta a guardá-la. Parece nervoso.

André: Bom, ele até pode ser um pide, mas era grande coincidência. Não podemos arriscar.

Mário: Ele levanta a cabeça e repara em ti, Amélia.

Amélia: (sorri) "Monsieur, pardon? Est-ce que vous peux me aider? Je suis perdu."

André: Eu levanto o garrote. Se ele responde em francês, é para mim o suficiente.

Mário: Nervoso, ele dá um passo atrás e começa a dizer "Qui est vous?" A mão dele vai ao bolso.

André: Enlaço-lhe o pescoço, espeto-lhe um joelho nos rins e esgano-o.

Mário: Vamos a ver. Faz um teste de combate.

André: (tira cartas) Crítico!

Mário: Amélia, tu vês o homem a desaparecer na escuridão atrás dele com pouco mais que um gemido. Guilherme, tu tem-lo em desiquilíbrio e a perder ar. Podes optar por pô-lo inconsciente em vez de o matar.

Rui: Boa!

André: Óptimo, se bem que duvido que ele consiga falar depois disto. Desço-o até ao chão sem fazer barulho. Depois podemos interrogá-lo.

Mário: Entretanto, na praceta, o homem pergunta-te pela relíquia, Àlvaro.

Àlvaro: "Isto não é uma troca justa. Onde está a minha filha?"

Homem: "Quando eu voltar com a espada, ela será libertada."

Àlvaro: "Já suspeitava." (Rui abana a cabeça) "Bom, não ando a passear com uma coisa daquelas pela rua. Está na mala do carro. Venha comigo." - eu começo a andar.

Mário: Há uns momentos hesitantes antes de tu ouvires passos seguindo-te. Amélia e Guilherme, quando vocês finalmente olham para o que se passa na praceta, vêem o Àlvaro a voltar para o carro seguido por um homem. (faz um teste por eles, tira cartas sem mostrar) Não vêem mais ninguém.

Vera: Nós voltamos rapidamente para trás. "Isto está a correr bem."

Guilherme: "Sim, parece que eles confiam no Àlvaro."

Mário: O homem caminha agora ao teu lado e parece estar a ficar impaciente. "O antigo dono não deu problemas?"

Àlvaro: "Foi convencido a ceder-nos a relíquia para sua protecção e no seu melhor interesse."

Homem: "E os teus colegas?"

Àlvaro: "Eles também têem muitos esqueletos no armário, não me podem impedir de salvar a minha filha."

Homem: "Eles matam assim tanta gente?"

Vera e André: (risos)

Àlvaro: (sorri) "Quero dizer que têem muitos segredos escondidos, coisas que também podiam acabar com eles se se soubessem."

Homem: "Ah, oui."

Mário: (faz um teste pelo Rui, tira cartas sem mostrar) Subitamente, Àlvaro, os teus instintos de combate disparam, mesmo quando vocês estão a chegar à esquina antes de se ver o carro. Há movimento e sentes-te observado. Perigo iminente.

Rui: Raios, estamos mesmo em campo aberto. Atiro-me para o chão.

Mário: Todos vocês ouvem um tiro seco.

André: Corremos para lá! (Vera faz que sim com a cabeça)

Mário: Àlvaro, um bala atinge no peito o homem ao teu lado. Tu rebolas para lá da esquina. O vosso carro tem a mala aberta. Uma figura está a fugir com a caixa da espada atada às costas.

Rui: Saco do revólver - isto vai acordar a vizinhança - procuro abrigo onde me encostar e disparar para esse ladrão! Tento ver onde está o atirador que apanhou o francês.

Mário: Amélia, Guilherme, quando vocês viram a esquina a correr, vêem esta cena - a mala do carro a ser roubada - e (faz um teste pelo André) o Guilherme reconhece a figura a fugir: a tua querida do KGB.

André: Cabra! Eu corro atrás dela.

Vera: Tento encontrar o Àlvaro e quem possa ter disparado.

Mário: Antes que possam reagir, mais um tiro vem, desta vez, na vossa direcção e acerta na esquina falhando-vos por centímetros. Àlvaro, na rua estreita para onde ela está a fugir, há um atirador bem colocado atrás de um caixote do lixo, sobre o qual suporta a espingarda.

Àlvaro: Disparo para ela. (faz um teste de combate, tira cartas)

Mário: A distãncia é grande. Ouves um som oco e ela cambaleia para a frente. Acertaste na caixa.

André: Corro em diagonal, tentando sair de onde o atirador me veja. Mesmo assim, procuro chegar até ela.

Vera: Eu seguro-o (aponta para o André) e tento levá-o até ao chão.

Amélia: "Não sejas doido. Porque é que corres para ela? Dispara!"

Mário: Ela rapidamente entra na rua e deixam de a ver. Vocês ouvem vozes e passos que parecem indicar uma terceira pessoa a ajudá-la.

Rui: Eu tento ver mais alguma coisa. Identificar uma cara.

Mário: Vês por momentos o atirador antes de eles se afastarem.

Rui: Ponho-me de pé. "Vocês estão bem?"

Guilherme: "Não! Mas eu sei onde podemos encontrar aquela cabra."

Àlvaro: "Óptimo, mas agora é urgente encontrarmos a minha filha. Vamos ter que revistar o coitado do francês."

Amélia: "Nós apanhamos outro. Vivo."

Àlvaro: "Ainda há esperança, então."

Guilherme: "E a espada? Que é que andamos aqui a fazer?"

Amélia: "Não se preocupem. Venham aqui." - eu caminho até ao carro e mostro-lhes, Mário.

Mário: Vocês vêem a Amélia a tirar uma manta da mala e a revelar um fundo secreto. Nele encontram a espada, igual à primeira vez que a viram na casa de D. Fausto.

Guilherme: "O que é isto?"

Amélia: "Quando eu soube desta história toda, eu sabia que tinha que ficar com a espada. Irei provar aos nazis que todo o interesse de Hitler pelo ocultismo é uma farsa. Ele está a ser enganado por supostos feiticeiros, uma corja de vigaristas."

Àlvaro: "E a caixa?"

Amélia: "Consegui uma réplica da espada e troquei-as quando a estava a guardar na mala. O KGB roubou uma falsificação."

Guilherme: (suspira) "Tu és doida."

Amélia: "E tu precisas de escolher melhor as tuas companhias."

Àlvaro: "Já chega! Preocupamo-nos com isto depois. Vamos descobrir onde está a minha filha. Levem-me até ao francês que apanharam." (estala os dedos) "Acabamos a missão esta noite."

Império RPG - Apresentação e Discussão

Espero que este thread seja um de muitos spin offs do "Made in Portugal". Acho que esta abordagem pode ser uma das hipóteses para fazer um RPG Português, seja o que isso for. Para começar, isto é um excerto copiado do thread anterior:

"Imagino que as personagens poderiam ser agentes secretos para o estado português. Sim, fazer uma transfiguração histórica e ir por uma via mais aventura-ficcional. Num país onde toda a gente parece ter o seu lugar bem definido, os PCs seriam os príncipes do Estado Novo, ou seja, elementos quase independentes, responsáveis por defender os interesses da Pátria. Mais do que qualquer pide ou político, os protagonistas são agentes que, pelas suas capacidades extraordinárias, foram treinados para uma posição acima da sociedade comum. Assim, estão par-a-par com os colegas estrangeiros que passeiam por este recanto da Europa.

Os protagonistas respondem a objectivos, não a ordens. Como são poucos, a organização é informal, mas faz o devido acompanhamento e responde às mais altas esferas. "I don't care what you do, just do it." é o procedimento normal. Os agentes são extraordinários no sentido em que são pessoas acima da média, herois, génios, efebos, líderes, etc. São livres de interpretar os seus objectivos, mas, para evitar demasiados desvios, são normalmente agrupados em equipas operacionais.

Obviamente que isto não seria um jogo português se os protagonistas não tivessem os seus interesses pessoais e que o "greater good" não fosse sendo deixado para segundo plano a favor de "fazer pela vida". A pequena corrupção e as facadinhas nas costas são o pão nosso de cada dia. É quase natural ser double agent e receber dinheiro dos dois lados. Claro que a palavra "traição" é demasiado forte para um português. As coisas fazem-se, toda a gente sabe, mas ninguém pergunta, ninguém faz ondas e toda a gente fica a ganhar.

Também já pensei num sistema, mas este post já vai longo e não me queria dispersar. Fico-me só por dizer que as regras pressupõem que a história é iniciada pelo GM, mas é alterada por iniciativa dos jogadores para incluir e seguir o curso do background das personagens. A isto eu chamei Trunfos, as regras usam baralhos de cartas."

Falando das regras então, de facto, cada participante deve ter o seu baralho, ao qual retira e põe de parte os Ases, Reis, Damas e Valetes. Estes servirão ao GM para dar início à história e serão os trunfos dos jogadores.

Todos os atributos vão de 1 a 10, sendo 1 o impossível de fazer qualquer coisa e 10 o sobre-humano. Um teste é feito a partir de duas cartas tiradas ao mesmo tempo do baralho. O teste é bem sucedido se o valor tirado for inferior ou igual ao atributo e o sucesso é tanto melhor quanto maior for o valor. O jogador escolhe, com as duas cartas tiradas, o melhor valor possível.

Por exemplo, vendo um 3 de ouros e um 7 de copas, pode ficar com o 3 ou com o 7. Além disso, como são da mesma cor também pode optar por somá-los e ficar com um 10. Se fossem de cores diferentes, poderia subtrair o menor ao maior e ficar com um 4.

Um par de duas iguais é um falhanço ou sucesso crítico. Dois 8s é um desastre se o atributo for-lhe inferior, mas é um excelente sucesso se o atributo for, pelo menos, 8. Num crítico, o valor tirado conta o dobro para o nível de sucesso. No exemplo, seria um sucesso de 16.

A dificuldade é calculada somando (+1) ou subtraindo (-1) os devidos factores ao atributo.

Isto é o básico. A seguir devo postar criação de personagem e os trunfos.

playtest 0.2 - criação de personagem

Este thread é um convite a todos os que quiserem experimentar a criação de personagem do Império, tal como vem descrita até agora. A ideia é, não só testar o sistema, mas principalmente ter uma ideia de como é que o ambiente pode ser aproveitado - qual é a ideia que os jogadores fazem do setting - e qual a variedade de personagens que pode surgir.

Isto é o que já foi postado como regras iniciais:

Citação:

Há quatro grupos de atributos:

Características: Vontade, Inteligência, Físico
Talentos: Profissão, Jeito, Sorte
Treino: Contacto, Combate, Operações
Trunfos

Vinte pontos são distribuídos em cada um dos três primeiros grupos. Definindo melhor cada atributo:

Vontade - força de espírito, carisma, convicção, coragem
Inteligência - rapidez de raciocínio, percepção
Físico - resistência, força, agilidade

Profissão - qual é o "cover" que faz com que o agente seja "secreto"
Jeito - hobbie, interesses à parte, outro campo de conhecimentos
Sorte - essencial para qualquer português

Contacto - acesso à rede de contactos que qualquer agente precisa
Combate - artes mariciais, armas de fogo, estratégia militar, etc.
Operações - infiltração, sabotagem, seguir alguém, etc.

Os trunfos são três atributos definidos pelo jogador. São três frases que indicam possíveis situações que envolvam a personagem, algo de interessante na sua história. Não podem ser claramente vantagens, têem que deixar uma possível resolução em aberto. Basicamente, são "plot hooks" ou "bangs", como é que se diz isto em português? :)

Para me fazer entender melhor, postei os seguintes exemplos:

 

Guilherme Cavaleiro é um homem de boas famílias, bem casado, um aviador da força área, um líder em todas as situações.

Características:
Vontade (auto-controlo) 8
Inteligência (olho-vivo) 6
Físico (energético) 6

Talentos:
Profissão (aviador) 5
Jeito (caça) 7
Sorte (sem problemas de dinheiro) 8

Treino:
Contacto (militar) 5
Combate (tiro) 6
Operações (planeamento logístico) 9

Trunfos:
Tem uma amante que pertence ao KGB operacional em Lisboa
Fascínio pela democracia republicana de outros países
Matou o filho num acidente de caça

 

Amélia Correia é uma actriz reputadamente famosa, uma mulher inteligente de subtil e inamovível influência. Entra em qualquer lado, está de bem onde estiver.

Características
Físico (leve) 4
Inteligência (lógica) 7
Vontade (adorável) 9

Talentos
Jeito (astronomia) 6
Profissão (actriz) 9
Sorte (não faz inimigos) 5

Treino
Combate (corpo-a-corpo) 4
Contacto (sólida reputação) 8
Operações (infiltração) 8

Trunfos
Obcecada pela refutação do oculto e paranormal.
Envenenou o marido para ganhar fortuna e independência.
Tem seduzido o polícia que investigou o secreto homicídio.

 

Álvaro Magalhães é um ex-combatente, um dos primeiros, um dos melhores. Entretém-se a cantar pelas tascas de Lisboa, à procura da sua voz de menino, da sua inocência.

Características
Físico (resistente) 7
Inteligência (instintivo) 7
Vontade (autoritário) 6

Talentos
Jeito (ex-comando) 8
Profissão (fadista) 4
Sorte (manter-se vivo) 8

Treino
Combate (embuscadas) 9
Contacto (nas ruas) 5
Operações (sobrevivência) 6

Trunfos
Perdeu a voz numa experiência médica com armas químicas
Filha emigrada em França foi raptada pela secreta francesa para o chantagear
Procura um líder, uma ideologia, um sentido de vida

 

Para mais informação sobre os trunfos e sobre a diferença entre os vários grupos de atributos, sugiro a consulta do .pdf disponível para download.
Essencialmente, os trunfos são uma indicação do que é que o jogador quer fazer com a personagem, quais as situações que ele pretende inserir na história e ver no que é que dá. Logo à partida, também são uma forma de caracterizar o personagem, dando pontos de apoio ao roleplay da sua personalidade.
Quanto aos vários grupos de atributos, pode acontecer que dois atributos de dois grupos diferentes possam servir para a mesma situação. No exemplo, Álvaro Magalhães tem não só Combate 9 como também Jeito (ex-comando) 8. Nestes casos, os atributos de Treino, de acordo com as regras, são mais eficazes, mas utilizá-los abertamente denuncia a personagem como um agente secreto, por isso pode ser vantajoso ter uma versão mais "normal" do atributo.

Entretanto, não cheguei a falar das expressões colocadas em parêntesis à frente de cada atributo. Estes descritivos servem para especificar em que domínio o atributo diz respeito à personagem, o que permite explicar um valor alto ou baixo. Também podem naturalmente condicionar a atribuição de bónus ou penalidades aos lançamentos, de acordo com as situações.

Quanto aos conceitos de personagem, estou curioso em relação a um conflito interessante. Tendo em conta que é suposto as personagens serem extraordinárias, com capacidades acima da média, como é que se explica que se sujeitem ao atraso de vida que é Portugal nos anos 40? Por lealdade, por patriotismo? Por razões que as prendem ao país, razões familiares, amorosas ou políticas? Por serem fortes por fora, mas psicologicamente frágeis? Porque têem os seus próprios planos para esta nação? Porque é que não cedem aos convites de outras agências e vão trabalhar para países mais civilizados? Ou porque é que cedem, mas só para fazer o jogo de agente-duplo?

Agradeço todas as vossas ideias.

propostas para um império 0.3

Estas são algumas ideias para aperfeiçoar este antigo projecto. Todas elas partem de um aproveitamento dos vários tópicos de discussão que foram surgindo, pelos quais agradeço a todos que deram a sua opinião. Acho que há três pontos essenciais:

Foco no Tema
Qual era a ideia mesmo? Já refiz a página principal para apontar nessa direcção. Neste momento, a minha proposta é a dualidade entre o bem comum vs o interesse pessoal. É o que eu vejo todos os dias quando abro os jornais :) mas principalmente é também aquilo que eu vejo que está melhor integrado com o sistema. Na folha de personagem, o mais importante são os trunfos. Já foram explicados anteriormente, mas é preciso dar-lhe mais movimento. Os jogadores podem comprar e descomprar trunfos quantas vezes quiserem, puxando e repuxando os fios da narrativa na direcção que desejarem e ganhando XPs no processo. Não há missão de interesse nacional que resista a uma saraivada de trunfos dos protagonistas. O exemplo que eu fiz de uma sessão ilustra uma situação dessas.

Enquadrar o Oculto
Obviamente que este tema e ambiente não chegam para espicaçar o interesse ao pessoal. É preciso romper com o realismo e usar o oculto como força ameaçadora sobre os interesses da nação/pessoais, é preciso levantar os poderes do abismo para serem usados como tesouro ou instrumento. Se inicialmente eu tinha pensado num ocultismo ao nível de "Salteadores da Arca Perdida", claramente isso não é o suficiente. Seguindo a bela tradição Pulp, há que dar um passo em frente e enfrentar as criaturas das trevas. Alguém já disse que isto seria demasiado Call of Cthulhu, mas eu acho que não, pois os temas são diferentes. Por um lado, o oculto é um instrumento para conquistar o mundo, por outro, quando se olha demasiado tempo para o abismo, o abismo olha-nos de volta. Sendo assim, estou a considerar a integração de um sistema de sanidade em que as personagens podem ganhar determinadas aflicções psicológicas e ganharem XPs por as roleplayar, de forma semelhante aos trunfos.

Refazer os Protagonistas
Desta forma, a imagem que temos das personagens terá que mudar, o que é bom, pois acho que está ainda muito desfocada. Primeiro, acho que podemos abandonar a ideia de um qualquer treino especial de agente secreto - há uma organização? tem um nome? - acho que as personagens devem ter ou não ter as skills que quiserem e serem recrutadas por serem excelentes nos mais diversos talentos, não necessariamente firearms e stealth. Estas são pessoas com capacidades acima da média que são por isso convidadas a trabalhar para o governo/presidência para ajudar em assuntos de grande e discreta importãncia. Isto permite-nos explorar de forma mais livre o tema, não há qualquer lealdade inculcada por um suposto treino para-militar. Talvez o sistema possa mesmo atribuir valores à dualidade Pátria vs Pecúlio, podendo a personagem ir ganhando mais pontos numa coisa ou noutra. Mais pontos a Pátria permite ter, por exemplo, maior acesso aos contactos do governo/embaixadas/etc. e melhor apoio nas missões. Mais pontos a Pecúlio permite ter aquela moradia de luxo nas colónias, uma namorada de boas famílias ou apoiar quaisquer que sejam as causas que apelam à nossa personagem.

 

Queria agradecer directamente ao jpn por insistir num stat de influência junto da organização, ao jrmariano por apelar ao poder do oculto e ao RedPissLegion pelas várias conversas que tivemos em que ele me chamou à atenção da importãncia de manter o foco no tema e me abriu os olhos para os poderes das keys de TSoY ;)

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Mundo de Masmorras

O  “Mundo de Masmorras” que é uma espécie de tradução/expansão/remistura/adaptação do World of Dungeons” do John Harper, uma versão minimalista do RPG de fantasia medieval Dungeon World do Sage LaTorra e Adam Koebel (ele próprio uma adaptação Apocalypse World do Vicent Baker para um universo Dungeons & Dragons!).

Este é um pequeno documento de 12 páginas formato A5 o que permite que se o possa usar de improviso ou imprimir-se uma cópia para todos os jogadores à mesa e assim o usarem até como folha de personagem.

Descarreguem mais abaixo  versão normal a cores e a versão em preto e branco. 

Se vos aprouver, leiam-no, usem-no, alterem-no, reescrevam-no mas principalmente aventurem-se nos seus mistérios e tragam de volta convosco um belo saque… pois “o que interesse mesmo é o saque”.

 

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Mythos - Jogo de Narração Épica

Mythos é um Jogo de Narração Épica que pretende facilitar a criação de histórias épicas e personagens heróicos segundo a perspectiva clássica e literária da Antiga Grécia e recorrendo a uma mecânica simplista e acessível que premeia a narração de conflitos onde os personagens têm que fazer escolhas significativas com consequências irreversíveis.

A sua estrutura é baseada na mais pequena unidade narrativa, a sequência, pois qualquer narrativa é composta de sequências que se revelam como uma espécie de pequenos ciclos que os ouvintes reconhecem facilmente. A sucessão destas unidades e o seu efeito sobre o personagem levam a um crescimento do herói  totalmente baseado na mudança que se lhe opera, resultado das consequências das escolhas que teve de tomar durante um conflito, mas, decidida, dependendo de quem ganha o conflito, pelo narrador ou pelo jogador deste personagem. Este jogo é assim baseado no poder que as narrações das escolhas, quer providenciadas pelo jogador ou pelo Narrador, têm sobre a história que em conjunto pretendem contar. A história é essencialmente constituída por um número incerto de conflitos suficientes para a realização das fases da história.

O jogo também é em grande parte influenciado pela tradição oral dos poemas Homéricos, pelos temas que estes tentaram abordar e pelas características do homem grego que  por este meio eram exaltados. É também construído tendo em conta as convenções do épico ou seja, por exemplo, o uso de epítetos para descrever os heróis, o facto de a história começar in media res e existirem influências sobrenaturais exteriores à história.

Qualquer pessoa que estiver interessada pode comentar ou até alterar o texto tendo a vista a sua melhoria e clareza.

Pretendo um dia fazer algo muito específico com este sistema por isso considero a sua publicação como eventual.

Agradeço desde já a todos os colaboradores deste site que em muito me ajudaram a começar este projecto.

Divirtam-se e joguem muito!,

João Mariano

Mythos © João Mariano

1. O que é um Jogo de Narração?

Um Jogo de Narração é um esforço colaborativo de criação entre vários jogadores que, a fim de se divertirem, reúnem-se em grupo e criam personagens fictícias que protagonizam histórias imaginárias. O objectivo de tal esforço é o de se conseguir simular ou interpretar esses personagens num dado universo tendo em conta certas linhas gerais acordadas entre jogadores ou retiradas de um documento que as estabeleça. O documento que neste preciso momento estás  a ler é um desses documentos, e, como irás dar conta, contém um conjunto de regras e códigos de conduta a ser respeitados pelos jogadores. Ao compreendê-las e usá-las irás ajudar a criar, em conjunto com os teus amigos, um universo da história, que, apesar de poder ser até o mais fantástico ou opressivo dos mundos, todos concordam ser justo ou possível de existir.

O moderador do uso das regras e dos códigos de conduta é um dos jogadores, escolhido de entre o grupo e a quem é atribuído um título representativo da sua autoridade criativa. Cabe muitas vezes assim ao moderador do jogo a representação de todos os outros indivíduos que  estão contidos no universo a que os personagens pertencem como também é da sua responsabilidade a supervisão geral da estrutura da história e e a promoção de um decurso normal do jogo.

A construção de um universo que faça sentido e seja possível de existir é contudo da responsabilidade do esforço criativo de todos e dos limites acordados por estes. Por seu lado, o fair-play do efeito que os personagens têm sobre o universo do jogo provém normalmente do um rolar de dados, dar cartas, lançar moedas, etc. Estes actos, em conjunto com a descrição das características do personagem e o modo como estas se  relacionam com o mundo que o rodeia, promovem o divertimento e facilitam a criatividade de todos durante o jogo.

Existe também uma certa narração das falas e pensamentos das personagens por parte de todos os jogadores, num acto que é em tudo parecido com o contar de histórias à lareira ou entre um grupo de amigos . Os jogadores respondem pelos personagens e revelam os seus sentimentos mais profundos e os seus segredos mais obscuros.  Porém, os jogadores são eles próprios mais de que os ouvintes dessa história: durante o decorrer do jogo os jogadores tornam-se os habitantes do universo por eles criados, narrando assim o seu respirar, os seus movimentos, e pensamentos, fazendo com que a história realmente decorra no espaço de imaginação partilhado por todos .

2. O que é o Mythos?

Mythos é um Jogo de Narração onde os jogadores criam histórias épicas protagonizadas por personagens heróicas e mitológicas. Estes Heróis são capazes de façanhas incríveis e conduzem o destino e a história de uma nação ou povo. São Heróis como Aquiles, Ulisses e Eneias e enfrentam desafios quase sobre-humanos de modo a que a sua Areté, a sua excelência, seja exaltada para todo o sempre. Até os Deuses, demonstrando assim a superioridade  dos heróis, decidem interferir na suas vidas, ora favorecendo o seu Moira, o seu destino, ora opondo-se à sua glória, através da máquinaria do Deus Ex Machina. Contudo, foram as escolhas que esses personagens tiveram de tomar devido ao seu destino que contribuíram definitivamente para que a sua história constasse com um dos mitos da humanidade e permancesse ainda hoje na memória de todos nós. O Mythos é acerca dessas escolhas.

Na Antiga Grécia era o Rapsodo que narrava, a todos que quisessem ouvir, as longas histórias dos heróis épicos, "cosendo" as várias cenas entre si e revelando todos os epítetos que demonstravam a grandeza dos seus protagonistas. Os ouvintes traziam consigo a memória destas histórias já por todos conhecidas e imaginavam a grandes façanhas dos heróis comparando os seus actos face à realidade do quotidiano que os rodeava.

No Mythos, é essa a tarefa nobre que cabe ao Rapsodo, um dos jogadores que tomará o papel de narrador da história, e cuja empresa será facilitada pelo facto de serem os próprios ouvintes, os restantes jogadores, a decidirem para onde penderá a balança do destino dos heróis principais da narrativa épica. Será que o destino facilitará e a sorte recompensará a sua escolha? Que terá o herói de sacrificar pelas escolhas que fez? 

Todos os jogadores de Mythos decidem a que tema universal o épico se propôem abordar durante a história  e quais os deuses que irão intervir a favor ou contra a exploração deste aspecto por parte dos heróis. Serão também os jogadores, ao assumirem os papeis de Musas do Rapsodo, a inspirarem-no de modo a que este torne a história mais interessante para todos os jogadores, e consequentemente para os seus personagem.

As Fases do Jogo

De modo a que os jogadores e o Rapsodo possam tornar a história que vão criar uma narração épica digna da tradição oral da Antiguidade Clássica cabe a todos conhecerem as convenções instituídas e usar as técnicas narrativas que os grandes contadores de histórias desenvolveram ao longo dos tempos.  Para que eu te possa ajudar a tornar fazível esse nobre e divertido empreendimento sugiro que conheças e concretizes os diversos passos do Jogo que aqui te proponho:

1 - Apresentação do Tema

Todos os jogadores devem chegar a consenso a que tema a narrativa épica deve explorar. Por cada história épica pode-se escolher um tema sendo preferível mudar de tema cada vez que se começa a contar uma história nova. Os personagens contudo podem-se manter de história para história podendo até aparecer num Canto como personagens não-jogáveis de modo assim a contribuirem para a história se tornar mais interessante e apelar à familiaridade dos jogadores.

Uma lista de palavras-chave temáticas irão ser sugeridas e listadas mais abaixo por este documento de modo a facilitar a criação de uma a história verdadeiramente heróica. Contudo a escolha depende, claro, exclusivamente dos jogadores e esta lista não pretende de maneira alguma ser definitiva. Acrescentem Temas à lista ou até ignorarem completamente as sugestões nelas contidas! O importante é que seja um tema do agrado de todos e o qual todos estejam interessados em explorar e jogar.

Ex.: Na Ilíada de Homero, por exemplo, o tema é a Fúria. Na Odisseia, do mesmo autor, o Tema é Humanidade.

2 - Preposição da Questão Épica

Com base no tema os jogadores delineam dois lados de uma questão que no seu entender reforcem o tema e que os permita explorá-los de maneiras diferentes. Pode parecer difícil fazê-lo mas pensando em apenas uma consequência que a exploração ou concretização extrema do tema teria para qualquer personagem basta apenas pensar em qual seria a consequência exactamente oposta em natureza que podia pertencer ao mesmo tema. Estabelece-se assim uma relacção antagónica entre os dois lados da questão quer será o motor de todo o conflito com que os heróis são confrontados. Cabe ao Rapsodo confrontar os jogadores em todos os Cantos com escolhas derivadas da Questão Épica. Contudo este não estará sozinho nesse esforço pois os jogadores também tomarão um papel importante no estabelecimento das situações através do facto de serem também as Musas do Rapsodo tal como abordaremos de seguida.

Ex.: Na obra Ilíada o tema escolhido pelo poeta é o da Fúria e a questão épica derivada do tema e com que os heróis da história se defrontam é "Glória ou Bem-estar?". Outras questões épicas possíveis para o mesmo tema poderiam ser por exemplo: "Vingança ou Honra?", "Poder ou Justiça?". etc. 

3 - Invocação das musas e dos deuses

Existem três musas que inspiram qualquer narrativa épica: São estas a Aoide (a voz), Melete (a prática), e Mneme (a memória). Estes três aspectos que a musas representam irão reforçar a agenda criativa e sugerem um código de conduta e as regras a seguir. 

O Rapsodo usa frases rituais para invocar durante esta fase do jogo para invocar as musas de modo a que o inspirem a narrar a história épica da maneira mais sublime possível. Os jogadores respondem, por sua vez, em coro, usando frases rituais num acto simbólico de concordância. Depois de proferidas as frases rituais o Rapsodo desloca um dado do monte inicial para o seu monte por cada uma das musas que o irão inspirar durante o jogo. Espero que deste modo a autoridade criativa do Rapsodo como narrador seja aceite oficiosamente por todos depois de discutidos e aceites os aspectos que as musas representam. 

Tal é necessário também, pois cabe aos jogadores, no decurso do jogo, tomarem, além dos heróis, também o papel das Musas. Ao fazê-lo estes, sempre que imaginarem algo mais interessante e heróico do que o que está a ser nerrado, que use as convenções de forma mais estimulante para a estrutura da narrativa ou que que apresente uma descrição mais detalhada e cativante do  que a presente narração do Rapsodo demonstra, devem inspirar o Rapsodo a efectivamente fazê-lo.  Podem fazê-lo a qualquer altura da história e para tal basta anunciar, com autoridade de que musa fazem essa inspiração e premiarem o Rapsodo, adicionando ao seu monte um dado proveniente do monte comum, pela sua receptividade.

Desta forma o aspecto Voz é um compromisso em se estabelecer um ambiente e tom heróico e épico que a todos desperte interesse e mostre a grandeza das personagens; o aspecto da  Prática é uma resolução tomada por todos de se escolher de entre as convenções do épico as que melhor se adequam aos gostos do grupo e de construir a história segundo as convenções escolhidas; e o aspecto da  Memória é um esforço por parte de todos em tentar descrever da maneira mais interessante e pertinente o universo da Antiguidade Clássica onde se passa a história tendo em conta o rigor e a veracidade dos dados a que todos têm acesso.

Exemplo das Frases Rituais usadas na Invocação:

(Rapsodo) "Ó Musas, que a minha voz não perca a cadência capaz de descrever tais batalhas frenéticas; que todas as façanhas nobres dos heróis sejam cantadas; que a glória do povo seja demonstrada perante os que a combateram."

(Jogadores) "Assim será se a tua inspiração for também a nossa inspiração, poeta!"  

O Rapsodo e os jogadores dividem então os deuses do panteão consoante a sua afinidade com cada lado da questão épica. Durante a narrativa os deuses intervêm sobrenaturalmente consoante o herói se encaixa num lado ou do outro da questão. O herói pode pedir a sua assistência através de uma prece mas por vezes os deuses agem de sua própria iniciativa. Podem até lutar pelos heróis ou segurarem as suas armas. Alguns Deuses chegam até a perseguir os heróis provocando propositadamente o seu infortúnio através de tempestades e pragas de origem sobrenatural. É desta oposição entre Deuses e entres Deuses e heróis que nascem muitos dos conflitos que fazem com que se explorem o tema e com que a história avançe e se torne cada vez mais cativante até que se dê o seu fim. Além disso sempre que os deuses decidirem apoiar ou opôr os heróis e no fim da resolução do conflito será acrescentado um dado ao monte do jogador do herói pois claramente os deuses provaram que o seu destino merece a sua atenção mostrando-se verdadeiramente grandioso e superior.

Mais à frente o Panteão dos Deuses será apresentado e serão listados os conceitos universais que eles representam e com os quais os jogadores poderão facilmente decidir quais deuses defendem cada lado da questão.

Ex.: Atena, é a deusa que representa a Inteligência, a Guerra e a Arte. Tendo em conta que a Questão Épica da Ílíada se define como "Glória ou Bem-estar", a deusa Atena, favorecendo a Guerra e a bravura e superioridade que esta dá hipótese de demonstrar, posiciona-se no lado da Glória. Afrodite, a deusa do Amor e da Beleza, posiciona-se por seu lado no do "Bem-estar" pois só no ócio é que estes dois conceitos são devidamente apreciados e contemplados. Durante a obra. Atena chega até em pegar armas para ajudar os Aqueus, conterráneos de Aquiles a lutarem diante das muralhas de Tróia, providenciando maior glória aos Gregos. Afrodite, por seu lado, resgata Páris Alexandre de morte certa por parte de Menelau, levando-o de volta para o seu palácio onde permanece rodeado de cuidados e luxos.

4 - Enumeração

Os jogadores criam as personagens e enumeram os epítetos que os caracterizam tendo em conta cinco questões que fundamentam e expôem as facetas épicas do herói. O conjunto das respostas a esta questões definem assim a força e o alcance da Areté, a sua excelência, com a qual o Herói tentará fazer pesar a balança do destino a seu favor quando tentar realizar as escolhas a que se propôs. Esta é a essência do carácter épico do personagem heróico. As questões são portanto:

  • Thymos e "O que dá motivação ao herói para enfrentar o conflito?";
  • Sophia e "Que conhecimento o personagem o ajudam a melhor enfrentar o conflito?";
  • Ethnos e "Por quem é que o herói luta?";
  • Aor e "Com que armas ou tesouro o herói pretende ganhar a vantagem no conflito?":
  • Polemios e "Qual é o seu inimigo com quem quer entrar em conflito?"

Um desses epítetos deve assim se  relacionar exclusivamente com um dos lados da questão épica. A esse epíteto chamaremos de Virtude. Todas as questões devem ser respondidas mesmo que não se criem o mesmo número de epítetos. Os resultados das respostas não utilizadas são um conjunto de traços gerais que ajudaram o jogador a melhor narrar o que o personagem faria ou diria se fosse confrontado com um conflito digno da sua atenção, ou seja descrevem melhor a sua Aréte mas não a definem.

5 - In Media Res

O jogador anuncia uma situação crucial onde o seu herói teria que escolher entre um lado ou outro da questão épica tendo eventualmente consequências irreversíveis para o personagem. A situação não deve ser muito detalhada por parte do jogador nem finalizar de qualquer maneira a história sem possibilidade de mais conflitos.  O Rapsodo guiado por esse desejo do jogador, introduz  assim um Canto (cena) que estabelece um conflito que levará o jogador a fazer uma escolha que terá como consequência. O conflito não será resolvido por agora nem se declaram direitos de narração. A natureza e as implicações do conflito podem sempre ser negociadas entre todos os jogadores através da uso de Musas mas cabe ao jogador do herói a decisão final. Todos os jogadores devem anunciar essa situação crucial.

Cada jogador declara ainda quais três epítetos, dos que já criados anteriormente, devem ser usados para resolver esse conflito no futuro próximo. Estes serão os epítetos que o jogador acha que melhor definem a Areté do seu personagem durante esta história. Por fim, todos estes epítetos deverão ser introduzidos num diálogo narrado por cada jogador e efectuado pelo próprio herói ou por uma das personagens delineada pelo seu Ethnos contido no estabelecimento do conflito através de uma paragem na narração.

6 - Ab Ovo

O Rapsodo estabelece para cada jogador um Canto contendo conflito a ser resolvido por cada herói e que remete para a sua situação inicial na história. Cada jogador, incluindo o Rapsodo, começa a História com três dados no seu monte. À disposição de cada jogador existe um número ilimitado de dados num monte comum.

A partir deste primeiro conflito, e interrompido o estado harmonioso de cada personagem, deve ser criada uma sequência de Cantos alternados que levam a conflitos fomentados pelo próprio Rapsodo. Estes conflitos, tal como o inicial, devem ser introduzido pelo Rapsodo com o propósito de dar a escolher ao jogador entre uma consequência irreversível que pese num lado da questão épica e outra consequência que pese para o outro lado e que seja também irreversível.

A escolha é dos jogadores dos heróis e de modo a reforçarem essa escolha devem apostar do seu monte o número de dados que quiserem e, se for esse o seu desejo, podem acrescentar um dado por cada epíteto que considerarem pertinente à consequência da escolha, garantido assim a resolução do conflito. O Rapsodo aposta também o número de dados que ainda possui no seu monte. Ambos lançam os dados e cada 1, 2, ou 3 é considerado um sucesso. Quem possuir mais sucessos narra a consequência irreversível do conflito tendo em conta a escolha e adiciona os dados lançados ao monte do outro jogador. 

Esta sequência de conflitos dura até que os jogadores dos Heróis acumulem entre si, o total de dados igual ao produto de seis vezes o número de Heróis em jogo. Só desta forma é que os heróis terão a balança da Moria, o destino, do seu lado durante a segunda parte da história, Ad Inferos,  onde se decidem verdadeiramente a enfrentar a grande consequência da escolha que fizeram durante o In Media Res. A quantidade necessária de dados perdidos pelo Rapsodo para avançar para o passo seguinte representa a necessidade do Rapsodo em ter controlo narrativo o suficiente para estabelecer uma oposição forte à tranquilidade dos heróis, o que possibilitará exaltar a heroicidade dos personagens na primeira parte da história, recorrendo à sua derrota e frustração.

7 - Ad Portas

É neste momento que finalmente se resolve o conflito estabelecido no In Media Res.

8 - Ad Infero

Os personagens serão confrontados com muita a adversidade, que vencerão, sendo assim exaltados como verdadeiros heróis épicos.  Para tal existirá novo ciclo de conflitos alternados e este ciclo só acaba quando o Narrador consegue acumular o total de dados igual ao produto de três vezes o número de Heróis em jogo.

9 - Apotheosis

O herói será confrontado com um último conflito em que lhe é imposto, quer por outro adversário heróico ou uma entidade sobrenatural, uma escolha irreversível entre os dois lados da questão épica que transformarão uma das suas características para sempre pois este a sacrificará de certa forma para vencer a oposição.. Esta característica será a que foi designada anteriormente como sendo a sua Virtude e a narração da sua transformação depende de quem vencer o conflito.

10 - Via Heroica

Os heróis regressam a casa e sucede-se um novo ciclo de conflitos que apresentam escolhas a tomar com consequências irreversíveis. Todos os pormenores por resolver serão resolvido e o herói atinge um novo equilíbrio diferente do início da história. Esta fase só acaba quando cada um dos jogadores acumula um total de três dados no seu monte.

11 - Mutantis Mutandis

Contabiliza-se quais foram os epítetos menos utilizados para a resolução de conflitos relacionados com o lado da escolha que o herói escolheu e por cada dado no seu monte este pode mudá-los, reescrevendo-os. Por cada dado o jogador também pode acrescentar novos epítetos à lista inicial desde que todos assentem que são interessantes ou então justa recompensa ou pena do papel do herói na história.

Numis

O Numis é um jogo de Narração que acompanhará passo a passo o desenvolvimento de um outro meu projecto, O Monte. Contudo este jogo tem diferenças substanciais relativamente ao outro por três pontos fundamentais: a ausência de Narrador, o uso exclusivo de moedas e a inpiração da estrutura do ritual como motor do decurso do jogo e estrutura do livro de jogo. Outra diferença substancial é a de que não será genérico mas será construído tendo em vista uma experiência específica de jogo e uma imersão num universo em parte pré-determinado.

Há um tempo fiz uma lista de dez mandamentos a serem cumpridos por mim ao escrever os jogos. O tempo passou, o jogo ainda não está escrito mas apresento-vos aqui em primeira mão, os Treze Mandamentos do Numis:

1. O jogo destina-se a um público adolescente e que nunca tenha jogado RPG;

2. O documento será escrito em Português e evocará, a título de exemplo, experiências e vivências tipicamente Portuguesas sem qualquer intenção de sátira ou caricaturização;

3. O universo do jogo será fantástico mas moderno, passando-se a acção das histórias em que os jogadores participam num Portugal reconhecível mas não definitivo;

4. O ambiente evocará fábulas, lendas e mitos Portugueses actualizados para uma sensibilidade moderna;

5. O elo de ligação entre os jogadores e esse mundo fantástico são moedas mágicas que os transportam para uma possível realidade alternativa criada pela suas capacidades de imaginação;

6. O próprio objecto do Livro de Jogo é o meio da entrada dos jogadores no espaço da imaginação partilhado pois é um relato na 1ª pessoa de como estes poderão usar as moedas para realizarem um “ritual” que os leve a visitar essa realidade fantástica;

7. O livro de jogo será escrito na forma de um diário pertencente a um estudioso da história peculiar das moedas. Este irá a deixar aos jogadores, a título de herança, uma pilha de moedas mágicas.

8. Esse ritual seria um pacto “místico” efectudo entre os seus praticantes através do qual estes chegariam a acordo quais os preceitos e o alcance deste;

9. Parte deste acto mágico será inscrever num papel ritualmente decorado as palavras que melhor descreveriam a identidade dos seus praticantes e os títulos (ou a reputação) pelos quais estes gostariam de ficar conhecidos no mundo imaginado;

10. A “fisícalidade” do próprio jogo seria alcançada por um sistema de negociação dos detalhes da premissa “criacional” do mundo a ser visitado, sistema este baseado em moedas e na acção das próprias moedas mágicas;

11. Não haverá portanto nenhuma figura autoritária reponsável pela organização e admnistração dos ritos próprios do ritual ou seja um moderador do uso das regras e dos códigos de conduta do jogo e nem lhe cabe supervisão geral da estrutura da história e e a promoção de um decurso normal do jogo. Estas funções serão partilhadas igualmente pelos jogadores.

12. O livro de jogo, o decurso do jogo e o próprio ritual mágico será dividido em sete partes inerentes a qualquer cerimónia ritual: Recepção, Encontro. Viagem Interior, Trabalho, Retorno, Celebração e Libertação.

13. Eu vou ser processado por todas as Associações de Pais do País e receber ameaças de morte de progenitores demasiado ignorantes e protectores de seus filhos.

Qualquer pessoa que estiver interessada pode comentar o pouco que escrevi tendo a vista a sua melhoria e progresso.

Pretendo um dia fazer de este jogo um produto interessante e apelativo por isso considero a sua publicação como eventual.

Agradeço desde já a todos os colaboradores deste site que em muito me ajudaram a retomar este projecto,

João Mariano

Numis © João Mariano

O Rei da Montanha de Prata

Comecei a colocar o conteúdo do RPG que estou a escrever disponível para consulta. Criei um pequeno blog onde vou estar todos os dias a colocar conteúdo tanto sobre as regras - que são baseadas em FUDGE - quando sobre o próprio cenário que se passa logo após o descobrimento da Terra de Santa Cruz.

Quem estiver interessado pode entrar no site http://www.eduardofernandes.com/ordmdp e deixar seus comentários, inclusive ajudar dando opinião sobre as regras, cenário e mesmo sobre erros.

Abraços 

Roleplaying Games - A Primer

Por fim, lá me enchi de coragem, e procurei entre ficheiros cheios de pó e outras tralhas afim até encontrar a disquete (sim, este trabalho está guardado numa disquete, sabem, daquelas que só podiam levar 1.3 megas de informação) com o trabalho que apresentei ao meu professor de inglês da faculdade.

Era o Ano da Graça de 1997, eu jogava RPGs à menos de um ano... mas já sabia do que gostava - RPGS. E muito. Para além do trabalho escrito, havia uma apresentação oral. Fiz a minha tendo projetado a meu lado um dragão do tamanho da parede (graças a um retroprojector)-- acho que assustei metade da turma, mas foi divertido.

O trabalho tende muito usar o sistema de Storyteller como exemplo, pois, como já disse, jogava à menos de um ano -- e Vampire foi o jogo com que me estreei -- mas mesmo assim vou tentar manter o texto o mais próximo do original.

Afinal, recordar é viver...

 

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"Monsters, monsters..." - a small gothic introduction on the nature of gamers

 

Monsters, Monsters, everywhere...


They crowd our imagination. They hide
under our beds. They lurk within the
recesses of our primal unconscious.
You can’t run, you can’t hide - it’s going
to get you. The beast, the ravager, the
‘Lusus Natura’. What is it, and why do
we fear it?

‘What is its name?’

We have always had our Fiends. At one
time, we called them Trolls; later, they
were named Demons, and then they were
Witches who brewed evil potions. Still later,
the Monster was said to be the hungry Wolf,
the Bogeyman, or the Godzilla of the Cold
War terror. Finally, some called it human
ignorance and intolerance. For a time they
tried to tell us that monsters don’t exist at
all, that everything that everything about the
Universe was either known or would be soon.

But now we know better. We have made our
reacquaintance with the Beast. We have
learned its true name. (…)

Today we have caught a glimpse of reality,
and have seen the truth behind the veil. We
have come full circle and rediscovered the
Fiend. We have found that to which we have
given so many names - the source of our
mortal terror.

We have found the enemy… and it is us.’

We are searchers(…), searching within
ourselves for that which has no name. By
looking at the monsters we create, we gain
new insights into our ‘darker half’. These
fiends express what are the deepest and
most inaccessible levels of our unconscious,
(…) they are have given us a connection to our
animal self and the promise of a brutal
justice. (…)

Just as the hero of legend must descent into
the pit of Purgatory to face the tormentor,
overcome personal weakness and finally be
cleansed, (…) so must we descend into the
depths of our own soul and return to life with
the secrets we have won (…). Only by
embarking on such a journey can we discover
our true  selves and look into the mirror.
But in the end, it is a most disturbing undertaking
(…) - for no journey is ever without its perils. Do
not look into your own soul, unless you are
willing to confront that which you find there.

So remember:

There are no such things as monsters…’

in “Vampire: the Masquerade - 2nd edition”

Part 1 - Introduction

Part I - Introduction

To be or not to be…’
Shakespeare - “Hamlet”

WHAT ARE “ROLEPLAYING GAMES”?


 In Roleplaying Games (or RPGs, for short), one takes the role of a character and ‘plays’ it, as if it was a character in a drama, except that the script is created as the action unfolds. The players take their characters through adventures, called (appropriately enough) stories. These stories are told by a combination of both the wishes of the players and the directives of the Gamemaster.

Thus, the players are free to take whatever characters they prefer - since there is a great deal of different RPGs: from science-fiction, to horror, including sword and sorcery, heroic fantasy, and so on. So, if they want, they can be anything from elves to dwarves, changelings, cyborgs, warriors, etc. RPGs ‘per se’ are a recent phenomenon - but its origins are quite older - and not the ones someone would expect…

Part 2 - Origins and history of the RPGs.

Part II - Origins and history of the RPGs.

‘He who denies his heritage is not worthy of one.’
- “Vampire: the Eternal Struggle” CCG

 

 

As it was said before, RPGs have unexpected origins, maybe because they are such natural ones. The act of “role-playing” is much more common than one would expected - for instance, when we are children, playing ‘make believe’, like ‘Cops and Robbers’ or ‘Cowboys and Indians’, we are actually role-playing, as we take the role of someone else.

 
This basic instinct of ‘assuming the role of someone else’ eventually evolved to more complex games, like, for instance, “Monopoly”, where we take the role of powerful, heartless business tycoons, sellingand buying, mercilessly dealing with stocks, property titles and mortgages, and having a great time doing all those awful things that we would never do in real life.

 

 

1 - The Antecedents.

 

All games like “Monopoly”, where a certain amount of strategy is necessary had the same origin: the old wargames, like chess, fox and hounds, and other forms of highly abstract strategy games. But, in 1824, Von Reisswitz, a Prussian officer, attempted to adapt strategy gaming with real model conflict. And so “Kriegspiel” (which can be translated precisely as “Wargame”) appeared, a game that used topographical maps and metal markings to represent terrain and armies. Dice were used to resolve combat.

Since this game was developed in the early Napoleonic era, it soon became a very popular way to train officers, teaching them to direct their armies. In fact, its popularity was such that it soon spread to other countries.

 

 

 


2 - Historical Background.

 
Wargames such as “Kriegspiel” quickly became so popular all over Europe that ascended from their military use, and they started to be seen with a hobbyist interest. Shortly after the beginning of this century, H. G. Wells wrote a set of rules called “Little Wars”, that set out the necessary parameters for engaging in battles and resolving combat. Without a shadow of a doubt, “Little Wars” was the catalyst for the development and growth of this gaming hobby.

But it was in the 30s that more development took place: Fletcher Pratt, a Civil War historian and a fantasy author, developed a set of rules for naval engagements, that covered everything: from effects of long-range gunfire, to tracking torpedoes once launched.

Pratt was respected for his historical and fantasy writing, which was an unusual combination for that time. In “The Complete Enchanter”, he tells the tales of Harold Shea, a psychologist-turned-wizard, whose adventures are set in a variety of mythological and fantastic backgrounds. Pratt also wrote two of the best fantasy novels of that period, “The Blue Star” (1952) and “The Well of the Unicorn” (1948).

That strong connection between science fiction & fantasy and the gaming hobby would continue until the present day. But the great master of the fantastic elements was a British professor, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. Tolkien wrote “The Lord of the Rings”, which he completed in the late 1950s. Initially, “The Lord of the Rings” only got modest reviews. But the elements in it, including the conflict between good and evil, in a fantastic world populated by elves, dwarves, hobbits, orcs and men, would become an integral part of fantasy role-playing.

 
The 50s were the years of recovery in all sectors, including the games sector - it was when Charles Roberts founded the “Avalon-Hill Games Company” that there was a resurgence of interest in strategy games as a hobby. The games produced by Avalon-Hill, like “Tactics II” and “Gettysburg”, and some design elements invented by the company, such as the hexagonal grid system, used on gameboard maps, would later affect the design of role-playing games. Some of these elements were refined, and new ones were added, by a new gaming company, Simulation Publications, Inc. This was the starting point for the gaming industry as we know it today.

 

3 - The 60s

 

 

By the 60s, there was a well-developed miniatures hobby and a growing strategy game hobby, although both were very small in numbers and scale. But two elements caused an unexpected revolution in the miniature and gaming industry. The first one was the publishing of “The Lord of Rings” as a trade-paperback, which received the highest praises. It caused various 'sword and sorcery' novels to appear, including Robert E. Howard’s books about his barbarian hero, Conan of Cimmeria.

The second was the creation of a set of medieval rules called “Chainmail”, written by the British Jeff Perrin and Gary Gygax. Until that moment, all miniatures were very similar, and where only different from one another when they belonged to different armies. The damaged they caused and their movement velocity was set and true for the entire army. But “Chainmail” had given players the possibility of individual combat, which lead to a new kind of miniature – each had unique and different abilities. With such a high level of detail, the miniatures also started to develop unique and different personalities.

 

And thus appeared tabletop games as they are known today.

 
 

4 - Tabletop Games.

 

Tabletop games resemble greatly the original wargames: two players wage their armies of creatures (that can be anything from humans to dark elves, including robots) against each other. The combat unfolds on top of a special table (hence the term ‘tabletop’), where there is a whole set of elements (in 3D or not), such as rocks, hills, lakes or even castles, which represents the battlefield. Each army is different from the other (even if both players are using, for instance, an human army), because within each army there are many different creatures, each with their own abilities, and each player will probably combine them in a different way from his opponent.

 
Tabletop gaming is an interesting hobby, however it has several drawbacks.

First and foremost, it is extremely expensive - for instance, foot soldiers or infantry (the less powerful, they are the ‘cannon fodder’ of any army) are sold in packages of four, and cost between 1400 to 2000 escudos. Furthermore, the figures regarded as individuals (they have their own name and personal history), have an astronomical price - such as Warhammer’s “High Elf Dragon Lord” figure, which costs around 10 500 escudos! Therefore, one has to be extremely wealthy or will have to wait a long time to have a half-decent army. It is particularly annoying for a good player with a weak army to face a low-class player with a strong army, since it is likely that the latter wins just for his better army.

Secondly, all figures come unpainted (and some of the larger ones even come unassembled), and their small size makes them extremely hard to paint (specially if one does not have any talent for painting at all).

 
And finally, tabletop can be very repetitive and dull. After all, it is always the same principle: war between two armies - there is no other type of interaction.

 
That was the problem that Gygax had experienced - but, when he came across Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”, he discovered a way to solve it.

 

5 - Of Dungeons & Dragons

 

Gygax wanted to make tabletop games more interesting, by making each gaming session unique and different from the previous. It was then he decided to create a set of rules that would allow to send one’s miniatures in quests against monsters and evil wizards instead of sending them against another player’s army. So, near the end of 1973, “Dungeons & Dragons” was published by Tactical Studies Rules (TSR).

 
The company was utterly caught by surprise by the success of the game and the demand of the public that ensued, as the book sold out at an impressive rate. Gygax realised he had found a gold mine. So he immediately started to think how he could improve it, how he could advance into the next level of gaming.

 

6 - Into The Next Level - Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

 
Gygax realised quickly which were the changes he could make to improve “Dungeons & Dragons”, and so the miniatures were removed from the game and left forever for tabletop playing. The rules of “Dungeons & Dragons” were adapted to a new sort of gaming - one where there was no need for miniatures anymore. All it was necessary was the player, a sheet of paper and some dice.

 

And thus was the first role-playing game born - from that point on, RPGs became more and more popular, and, since then, hundreds of games have been published.

  

7 - The Future.

Since the publication of “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” in the 1980s, many other games have been created. The popularity of role-playing games quickly spread all over the world, and, thanks to the Internet, today is already possible to play online with role-players from all over the world. Instead of paper, pencil and dices, one uses a monitor, a keyboard and special software to simulate dices. And instead of gathering all your friends in your living-room, you simply get online with players from all around the globe, by accessing special Internet sites like White Wolf’s, at  http://www.white-wolf.com.

 

8 - Portable Role-Playing Games.

 

Recently, a new kind of RPG appeared. Technically speaking, they are not RPGs ‘per se’, but they borrowed many elements from them. Collectible Card Games (‘CCG’ for short) are similar in many aspects to both RPGs and tabletop games.

Basically, the objective of a CCG game is to defeat an opponent by means of an army of minions (that can range from anything, from unicorns to minotaurs or even vampires), empowered by special items, weapons and abilities, all represented in different cards.

Games such as “Magic: the Gathering”, a game where one assumes the part of a powerful wizard, or “Vampire: the Eternal Struggle”, where the player takes the role of a Methuselah, an ancient vampire, are examples of CCG games.

 

A normal RPG is something that requires some patience and a lot of imagination to organise. The Gamemaster has to prepare the story in advance, check the players’ characters, find a place where to play, and a lot of other things that must be thought of before a game is started. CCGs, on the other hand, can be improvised and played anywhere, only with two players, if necessary. No Gamemaster is required, nor creating a character, just having a deck of cards.

However, like tabletop games, CCGs are much more linear: the objective is always the same – to defeat the player’s army. And, although they aren’t as expensive as tabletops, CCGs are much more expensive than RPGs, since a deck still costs more than paying for a couple of photocopies of the character sheet. Furthermore, in order to have a more powerful deck, it is necessary to buy a few more decks to get different cards.

Part 3 - Types of Roleplaying Games

Part III - Types of Role-playing games.

 

‘He who cannot forgive the next man for being different is still far from the path of wisdom’
- Chinese proverb

It is obvious that after the ‘Big Bang’ of RPGs caused by “Dungeons & Dragons”, every game that was published tried to offer something new and different to the players. Therefore, all sorts of themes were used, besides the initial ‘heroic-fantasy’, as an attempt to get the most attention from the public. Nowadays, the range of themes used has become incredibly vast, almost endless.

Listed below are five categories in which most RPGs can be inserted in:

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 - Heroic-Fantasy and  Sword & Sorcery:


 


‘All it takes is one person to change history.’
“Luftwaffe: 1946”

 

Heroic-fantasy was the initial theme for RPGs. Its most famous example is the first RPG ever, “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons”. Games that belong to this category are usually set in somewhat mystical and fabulous kingdoms, where magic reigns, and all sorts of intelligent creatures, such as orcs, elves, changelings, fairies, etc., live side by side with humans.

These games have a medieval background, with kings, castles, melee weapons and battles on horseback. Sword & Sorcery is similar to heroic-fantasy, except that, in Sword & Sorcery, the members of the party are usually all human (mages, warriors, priests, and so on) whereas in heroic-fantasy the players enjoy the possibility of being something else than human.

 

TSR’s “The Fifth Age”, based on the “Dragonlance” books, is an example of Sword & Sorcery games, since its rules were created to build mainly human characters.

In these games, players usually use their swords, axes and magical powers to fight monsters, to save damsels in distress, or (if they don’t like being the ‘good guys’) to go around in search of treasures, trying to get as wealthy as possible.

 

 


 
2 - Science-Fiction


 

‘The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible’

 

 

Science-fiction has a wider range of possibilities than heroic-fantasy. Big guns, cyborgs, aliens, deadly viruses, beautiful girls clad in mechanical armours, are but a few of the elements included in this category, since science-fiction includes that which is related to science and/or pseudo-science.

 

Furthermore, many successful films are turned into RPGs, such as “Star Wars”, “Star Treck” and “Aliens”.‘a faraway galaxy’; White Wolf’s “Aeon Trinity” occurs in the 22nd-century Earth, while “Predator” is also set on Earth, but during the present day. Unlike heroic-fantasy, there isn’t a set period of time or space for science-fiction games: “Star Wars” happens during an unknown time, in

In this category, technology usually has a very important role in the game, even if the game is set in a 19th century Earth from an alternative dimension.

 

 


3 - Horror


 
‘As others might with tenderness
Rule your life and youngness
I shall rule you with a fear.’

Beaudelaire - “The Ghost”

 

Fear is connected to the deepest recesses of the human mind, thus, it has always been an important part of human nature. That which scares us also attracts us. Therefore, horror RPGs had to be created sooner or later. Horror RPGs are usually set in our own reality and time, although there are some horror RPGs set in space or even during Middle Ages.

 

One of the most famous horror RPGs is “Call of Cthuhlu”, based on the writings of R. Lovercraft. It is usually set in America, during the 1920s, (although there are supplements that allow to create stories set in modern-day America), and tells the tales of normal men and women that suddenly come face to face with monsters, demons and similar creatures. The players’ characters have no special powers, and not only do they have to fight for their lives, but also for their sanity, for there’s so much their minds can stand.

 

Most horror RPGs assume the same point of view - of the human fighting his own fears and nightmares, but in the beginning of the 90s, a new game took the horror RPGs into a new level: in White Wolf’s“Vampire: The Masquerade”, the player was, for the first time ever, the monster.

 

The players assume the role of young vampires of the 90s, who have to deal with the fact that now they are immortal, but also have to feed on blood in order to survive. The monster’s point of view and everything connected to it, is what counts most. Several other books based on that same “World of Darkness” series followed (a darker, bleacher and more gothic version of our reality), allowing the players to become werewolves, ghost, mages and even changelings.

 

 

4 - Humour

 

‘He who laughs, LASTS’
“Humor Digest - July 1990”

 

Humour role-playing is perhaps the most complicated of all role-playing, since it is very difficult to create a story whose single purpose is to cause the players to laugh to no end. It is more than just spending the whole game telling jokes, or putting the characters through ‘risqué’ situations, one after another. It means creating a whole background that is credible, but, at the same time, allows the players to go through unexpected and even somewhat silly situations.

 

Like for instances, “Project A-Ko”, based on a series of Japanese animated films, where the peaceful Graviton City is in-vaded by bikini-clad female aliens (who look like male earthlings), determined to rescue their long lost prince, who happens to be your best girlfriend. Or where you solve your rivalries in an all-girl school by unleashing the entire arsenal of a 6mt robot upon your rival, blasting her into the stratosphere. On a slightly different tone, it is also possible to recreate Monty Python’s hilarious adventures in “The Holy Grail”, where King Arthur’s quest is mercilessly criticised, or even to take part in modern-day quests with “The Knights of the Dinner Table”.

In short, humour RPGs are similar to other RPGs, except their goal is to give an enjoyable time to the players through amusing situations and even through some nonsense.

 

 

 

5 - Warriors

 

 

‘He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our Antagonist is our helper.’
E. Burke

 

Since we were children, we have always dreamt of being stronger than we are: police officers, detectives, cowboys, secret agents, super heroes. In short, we wanted to be the modern day warriors, who fought the ‘bad guys’ and defeated evil, just like we saw on TV. Later, we would start to admire the fighting prowess of the street fighters that filled the arcade games which we usually played with our friends. A few years later, we would leave those nigh super-human powers behind, and envied the abilities of humans who were mentally and physically superior to the average, of great leaders such as Napoleon or Alexander the Great, or even the fabulous tales about ninjas and samurais.

In these RPGs, the objective of the players is to be warriors, either by waging battles behind a desk or on the battlefield - games such as“Legend of the Five Rings” unveil the secrets of ninjas and their clans to the players. It is possible to play as a fighter or a consort, a leader or a spy, as in most of the games that belong to this category. They all have in common the fact that the player assumes the part of a warrior, whose abilities can range from fencing to love-making or even strategy.

 


6 - Others

 

Obviously, the list of RPGs is almost infinite. Therefore, it is impossible to list all of them, as well as all the categories, specially because many are so unique that they require their own category.
 

It suffices to say that there is hardly any theme that has not been turned into an RPG. The series we see on TV, (cartoons included), Hollywood blockbusters, periods of the history of mankind, books, and so on, ‘ad nauseam’, have been sources of inspiration for RPGs, often more than once. RPGs search for inspiration everywhere, and perhaps that is the secret for their success - there is always something for everyone.

Part 4 - Starting A Game Session - The inner workings of a game

Part IV – Starting a game session - RPGs inner workings.

 

 

 

Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war.
- Shakespeare – “Julius Caesar”

 
A group of people, usually called a ‘troupe,’ gathers around a table, each representing a different character – except for one – that will take the most important part of all – usually known as the Gamemaster.

 

 

1 - Elements required for RPG playing.

All these elements are essential for a RPG game session. They range from the people involved in the role-playing, to items without which would be impossible to play. Only the essential elements will be referred here, although there are many others that can be used during a RPG session. They don’t affect the game directly, as they only contribute to enhance the mood, like background music, or props to make things more realistic, such as a model fingerprint-filled handgun.

a) HUMAN FACTORS

 
- The Gamemaster - the Gamemaster (also known as Storyteller or Dungeon Master) is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most powerful person of the game. It is him/her that builds the scenario on which the players’ characters will have their adventures, and s/he has also to lead the characters throughout the story, s/he created. The Gamemaster is similar to the banker in “Monopoly”, only with even more responsibility – s/he is also the referee in the game, his/her word is final. The Gamemaster is like God in the universe of that game s/he is leading – she has in his/her hands the final fate of all the characters. It is also him/her who decides what events occur, and when they occur. In some occasions, the Gamemaster will even decide if players fail or succeed in an action – although such decisions are usually left to the element of luck.

 
- The Players – of course, it would be impossible to have a game without players. The same happens with RPG games: here, players create characters that they will interpreter in the story created by the Gamemaster. They determine whether the characters stay or flee, talk or charge, turn left or right. The players have an important role in the game – they can even decide the outcome of the story – for, although the Gamemaster creates the story and its background, s/he cannot decide the outcome of every events, s/he can only guess the probable reaction of the players, and develop the story accordingly. Gamemasters are often forced to improvise when players take unexpected actions, for which the Gamemaster was not ready. For instances, let us consider this possible situation:

 

The characters have just left an abandoned city, where the treasure that they are looking for is. The Gamemaster (ironically) has given them clues showing that the treasure is there, but is expecting them to overlook the obvious and to follow the other clues – one telling them to go to a temple to the East, and the other telling then to go West.

 

No matter what their choice is, after facing a few enemies, they will discover that the treasure was actually in the abandoned city and will return there. But, to make things a little harder, by the time they arrive at the city, the king’s army (which is pursuing the characters) will be waiting for  them.

A Gamemaster knows that an entire army cannot simply materialise out of nowhere – factors such as distance and velocity count, and a good Gamemaster has to take them into account. Therefore, the false clues will draw the characters away, buying the king’s army enough time to arrive at the abandoned city in time to confront the characters. The Gamemaster is only expecting the players to decide whether the characters go West or East.

If they go West, they will cross paths with a bunch of thieves. After the characters defeat them, the thieves will admit that they were going to the abandoned city because the treasure is there. If the players decide that the characters should go East, they will find a priest possessed by an evil demon. After destroying the demon, the priest will thank them for releasing him, and will inform them about the whereabouts of the treasure. The characters will return to the city and face the army, no matter what choice they make. At least, that is what the Gamemaster is expecting.

But it is always possible that one of the players realises what the clues actually mean, and the characters decide to return to the city at once. The Gamemaster knows that the king’s army will not arrive in time, so s/he will have to improvise something to keep the characters occupied until the army gets there, like a few (weaker) enemies for them to battle with.

 
The players have total control over their characters’ feelings, thoughts and reactions, and no Gamemaster has the right to take away that control, unless it is a lousy Gamemaster. In the situation mentioned above, the correct reaction was to improvise something to delay the characters, but it would be possible for the Gamemaster to claim “no, you cannot return to the city, you either go East or West”. However, players resent having the control over their characters being taken away, and would probably start suspecting  that there was something nasty awaiting them, either if they go East or West. Paranoid players are dangerous, since they tend to hesitate too much and often avoid doing things which are crucial to the development of the story.

Basically, the players are the actors in a play sketched by the Gamemaster, and it is them who will flesh out the details of the story.

 

 

b) STATIC ELEMENTS

 

- The Books – books are an essential part of RPGs, specially concerning the creation of the story that will be role-played, since they describe the universe where the story will occur. It would be nearly impossible to role-play an “Vampire: the Masquerade” session, if one just had an “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” book.

There are many types of books, and each has its own part.:

* the more important books are the called ‘core books’. They contain general information about the most important aspects of the universe where the story will occur, as well as the rules for combat, construction of characters, and so on. These books alone contain enough information to create an endless amount of stories to be role-played.

* the called ‘supplements’ add extra information to the one given in the core books. Supplements can range from information for Gamemasters only, about enemies, cities, etc., to special information for the players, to help them to better understand the workings of certain aspects of the determined types of characters, like magic compendiums, clan books, etc. For more advanced players, supplements allow to introduce something new to the game, elements that usually are not mentioned in the core book or which the rules do not contemplate, like different eras, clans or creatures that are considered too powerful to be played by normal players, and that are usually used as opponents and enemies of the characters.

 

- The Character Sheets – character sheets contain the character ‘stats’, i.e. what the characters can or cannot do, how well (or badly) they do it, and often other information, such as their physical appearance and even their personality. In the character sheets, elements such as health, humanity and sanity ratings are also included, depending on the RPG. Character sheets usually vary from RPG to RPG, although, for example, “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” and “Ravenloft” have the same rules and character sheets, in spite of their universes being different.

The character sheet also determines how the character will be created. In some games, like “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons”, luck is part of the construction of the character – the player decides which type of creature the character will be, then will roll dice, and the results will decide the rating of each trait. In other games, such as “Vampire: the Masquerade”, the player has already a set amount of points and will distribute them as sees fit: the character can be stronger or more intelligent, can be a genial hacker, but with little ability to do anything else, or a regular person who knows a little of everything.

 

- The Dice – when we were children playing “Cops and Robbers”, the ‘I shot you!’ ‘Did not!’ ‘Did too!’-problem arouse. This also happens in RPGs – there are certain situations that must be solved, whose outcome is necessary for the story to proceed. How is it possible to know when the characters fail and action or not? In some cases, given the difficulty of the action, the Gamemaster can decide the outcome, like for instance, that there is no problem for a character to get dressed in the morning, or that it is impossible for a normal human character to jump 10 meters up into the air. However, not all decisions can be made thus. Let us think on the following situation:

 

The characters are running away from the king’s men. Suddenly, they find themselves in a dead end, with a 3 meter wall in front of them.

 

One of the characters is not all that good in athletics, so the likely result of his attempt to climb the wall is that he will fail and fall into the hands of the king’s men. But one never knows – there is also the possibility that the character will get lucky and manage to climb the wall – the so called ‘dumb luck’. How can we know when it happens? That is when the element of ‘luck’ is used: by rolling dice, there is always a fair chance of succeeding in an action… or failing. Of course, the higher the ratings one has in a determined trait, the better chances one has of succeeding in an action related to that trait. Nonetheless, no matter how good the character is, there is always the possibility of failure – nobody is 100% perfect. The dice also determine how well or badly the character did in an action – it can be a complete success or a total failure, where the action has real nasty repercussions – the called ‘botch’: for instances, a character fails a shot and instead of shooting the enemy, shots a friend.

 

 

2 - Preliminary work

a) CREATING A STORY – only the Gamemaster is involved in the process of story creation. After it has been decided which RPG game will be used, the Gamemaster will sketch a story, that will be fleshed out later by the players decisions. The Gamemaster has to leave a lot of manoeuvre room to the players, so that they fully enjoy their role-playing, by giving them the possibility of letting their characters do what they want. Of course, there are some events that the characters will not be able of escaping, events that lead to the development of the story, and the Gamemaster is should also always keep something up his/her sleeve, in case s/he has to get the players back in line, without taking away their control over their own characters. In this stage of creation, things like enemies and eventual allies, who will be role-played by the Gamemaster, are also created.

Description is also an important part of role-playing – it helps setting the mood, and, in the more crucial moments of the story, the Gamemaster should have already a ready description of what the characters are facing, whether it is an enemy, a treasure or a monster, so the players can feel the full impact and the true importance of what (or who) they are facing.

 

b) CREATING A CHARACTER – this is a joint effort of both the player and the Gamemaster. Usually, the player is free to decide how the character will turn out in the end, but in some cases, the Gamemaster can add some restrictions to the process of character creation, like, for instance, lot allowing the character to be part of determined races and/or clans. In most of the cases, however, the player is utterly free to decide how the character will be.
 

Example of a character creation process:

 

Ana plans to participate in Sónia’s new “Vampire: the Masquerade” chronicle. Sónia simply informs her that the story will centre around a mysterious vampire. Since she adds no further information, Ana will have a lot of manoeuvre room when creating her character. Firstly, she will gather some ideas, then start the process of turning those ideas into a full-fledged character.

 

Step One - Concept

Ana’s first responsibility is to come up with a concept for her character. She is feeling like playing someone who is carefree and good-humoured, but also extremely straightforward, someone who does not give a damn about the political games of vampiric society, so, she decides to role-play a female vampire, whose lifestyle did not change much after being turned into an undead. The obvious clan choice would be the Brujah clan, the violent, in-your-face vampires. But to add a twist, Ana chooses the Gangrel clan, the nomads, nature-lovers, and independent vampires. However, she soon decides that the character will not be an average Gangrel – the character does not really care about nature, and has a city life, opposing to most Gangrel vampires.

Recently, Ana has been reading a book about the adventures of two female bounty-hunters from Chicago, and one of them suits the character perfectly – so, Ana already has a name for her character – May Hopkins, also known as Minnie-May.

She decides to adapt the book character to her own character: so she considers Minnie-May’s Nature and Demeanor. She decides that Minnie-May is someone who enjoys all the pleasures of life, so her Nature will be Bon Vivant. At the same time, those who know Minnie-May see her as someone who loves danger in every form – that’s her Demeanor – the face she shows to the world. Thrill-Seeker is the perfect choice. And since Ana has definitively adopted the Minnie-May from the book to be her character, the character’s concept is already chosen: Bounty Hunter.

 


Step Two – Attributes

 
At this stage, Ana has to choose what
Attributes (physical, social or mental) are more important. Since Minnie is a Bounty Hunter, Physical should come first – she will have to face thugs and all that. So, this is her Primary Attribute. She gets 7 points to distribute as she see fit. All attributes start automatically with one dot, so Minnie will have a total of 12 dots in her physical attributes. Minnie is still young so she’s not that strong – Ana only spends one dot in Strength, increasing to two – Minnie has average raw strength. However, Ana boosts Minnie Dexterity to the limit – Minnie is agile and nimble. Finally, the last dots go to Stamina, increasing it to three dots – it is important that Minnie is resistant to pain and damage. Her Secondary Attribute is Mental – Minnie does have to be clever and intelligent to solve the complicated situations a bounty hunter has to face. She has 5 dots for this attribute – two go to Wits and other two to Intelligence (in the book, Minnie-May is an explosive specialist, so Ana has already decided her character will be like just the book – and it does take some brains to handle explosives). The last dot goes to Perception – how Minnie will perceive the world around her – it is just average, but it suits Ana just fine. By default, Social Attributes are Tertiary. Ana has 3 dots. Minnie-May is a cute girl, so Ana spends two dots in her appearance, increasing it to three – more than average. With a bit of luck, Minnie’s looks will help her distract the thugs while she kicks their sorry behinds. The final dot goes to Charisma (Minnie is a nice girl), and although her Manipulation is unusually low, Ana doesn’t find it very important, since her character does not care about politics and sweet-talking at all – it suits Minnie’s personality perfectly.

 


Step three: Abilities

 
Now, Ana has arrived to the point where all the important choices are made, where her character starts emerging from the crowd.
Like in the Attributes, Abilities can be Primary, Secondary or Tertiary. Ana ticks the abilities she considers more important and in the end she realises that Minnie’s Talents will be the Primary Abilities. She has 13 dots to distribute. She places 3 dots in Alertness, since she feels that a Bounty Hunter should never be caught unaware, and that alertness will also prevent her from falling into traps or ambushes. Then, two dots go to Athletics, as Minnie is in shape. Since, in combat, both Dexterity and Brawl count, and as Minnie has an incredible Dexterity (5 dots!), Ana thinks that one dot in Brawl is enough. However, Dodge gets three dots, for Minnie is small and agile. Ana has four dots left, so she puts two in Streetwise (it will help Minnie finding her prey) and Subterfuge (it represents the ability of deceiving, and it is useful to compensate Minnie’s low Manipulation abilities). The next ability are Skills, and she has 9 dots to spend: two dots go to Drive, one to Etiquette (Ana suspects that the mysterious vampire is an Elder, so a little etiquette will save her a lot of headaches), two dots go to Firearms (a girl has to know how to defend herself, and a gun is easier to find than explosives), likewise, she puts one dot in Melee (stabbing weapons are not as effective as guns, but sometimes they come in handy). Security is important as it is what allows Minnie to disable alarms, pick up locks, open vaults, and all those things are useful for a Bounty Hunter. She puts the final dot in Stealth, the ability of going undetected – also very useful for a Bounty Hunter. Finally, the Knowledge ability, it has 5 dots. Immediately, Ana spends four dots in Science and adds the speciality – ‘Explosives’ – after all, Minnie is an explosive specialist – she has to know what she is doing. The last dot goes to Investigation – Minnie needs to know how to track down her prey.

 


Step four - Advantages

 
Now, these are the traits that will make a vampire out of Minnie.

Disciplines , the mystical powers vampires possess, come first. As a Gangrel, Minnie can choose between Animalism (the ability of controlling and communicating with animals), Protean (shape-shifting abilities) and Fortitude (super-human resistance). Usually, Ana would only have three dots to put in disciplines, but Sónia tells her that she can have four dots. Ana then puts all dots in Protean – Minnie can now see in the dark, grow claws, meld into the earth and transform into animals.

There are five dots to spend with Backgrounds. Ana chooses only two of the many available possibilities: three dots into Resources, which make Minnie quite wealthy – bounty hunting does give a lot of money -, and two into Generation – by default, vampires start at 13th generation, but the lower their generation is, the stronger they are. Minnie is now an 11th Generation vampire.

There are seven dots to distribute among Virtues, plus one automatic dot on each Virtue. In spite of being a vampire, Minnie is still kind and human, so she gets two dots in Conscience, raising it to three – more than average. Ana does not want her having fits of uncontrolled rage, to which vampires are prone to, so Minnie gets two dots in Self-Control, increasing the rating to three. The last three dots go to Courage – Minnie is a brave girl – she has to, to be a Bounty Hunter.

 


Step Five – Finishing touches


Now, Ana has the chance to round out her character and add it a spark of life.

Firstly, she calculates Minnie’s Humanity rating, by adding Conscience and Self-Control. The result is six dots – Ana finds it a little too low for someone as Minnie, so she makes a mental note to increase it later. Willpower equals the Courage’s rating, four. Ana makes another mental not to increase it – it is also too low. If Minnie is going to face Elder vampires, she will need to be strong-willed, not to succumb to mind-controlling.

Next, Ana will spend the freebie points that are given to increase her attributes, abilities and advantages as she sees fit. She spends a dot in Knowledge, Linguistics (the story is happening in Portugal and Minnie is American – she has to know how to speak Portuguese, otherwise she will have a lot of communication problems, which will make the story too difficult). Then she decides to put another dot in disciplines, this time, Fortitude – Ana wants her to be able of resisting to damage. Instantly, Minnie has an extra health level, which Ana indicates, by adding another square to the initial seven. In order to make her even more unique, Ana adds two dots to Minnie’s Generation, four dots in the total, making her a 9th-Generation vampire – as a result, Minnie’s Blood Pool has four extra levels, added to the initial ten, and Ana writes Minnie’s Generation in correct box. One dot is added to Minnie’s Courage – she is supposed to be real brave – that adds automatically one dot to her Willpower rating, which is now five. It is still too low, so three dots increase the rating to eight – which is now high enough. Another dot increases Minnie’s Humanity to seven – enough for what Ana has in mind. The final point goes to Skills, Survival.

Now, the character is ready. Ana hands the character sheet to Sónia, the Gamemaster. After looking at it, Sónia decides that the character is okay, and even decides to give Minnie another bonus – 2 dots in Potence (supra-human strength), since it is a very physical character. And thus the character creation process ends.

 

 


3 - Let's play!

The troupe gathers around a table: the Gamemaster with his/her story, the players with their character sheets, plus books, dices and a healthy amount of junk food – now they are ready to start playing.

 

a) TIME – over the course of the game, time is presumed to pass normally – Tuesday follows Monday, February follows January, and so on. However, there is no need to role-play every second that passes. There is some difference between the speed of the game time and the real time. For instance, a four-hour session can contain events that occurred during a year in the game setting. During special actions, such as combat, time can be ‘stretched’, in order to make things less complicated.

In order to maintain a sense of passage of time, but without making the game tedious, there are six basic units to describe game time:

 - Turn – the amount of time necessary to take a simple action, like throwing a punch or picking a book from a shelf, it can range anywhere from three seconds to three minutes.

 - Scene – like in plays and movies, a scene is a compact period of action that takes place in a single location. It can be a conversation in a park or the investigation of a murder scene.

- Chapter – an independent part of a story, usually played in a single game session. It consists of a number of scenes – essentially like a chapter in a novel or a play.

- Story – a full tale, complete with introduction, rising action and climax. Some stories can take several chapters to be completed while others may be finished in just one.

- Chronicle – a series of stories connected by the characters themselves and their own personal story, possibly even by a common theme or plot.

- Downtime – time that is spent through a description, instead of being role-played turn by turn and scene by scene. If the Gamemaster says “the characters wait in the dungeon for four hours before being taken to the King”, instead of actually letting the players role-play their wait, the Gamemaster is considered to be invoking downtime. Downtime allows trivial or tedious passages to go by quickly.

 
b) ACTIONS – Over the course of the game, a character will do many things. Some of them will be considered ‘actions’, while others will not. Speeches and conversation are not considered actions – but just everything else, from throwing a book at the guard’s head to trying to decipher a code, is probably an action.

 
It is easy to attempt an action – the player simply has to tell the Gamemaster what the character is trying to do and how the player is planning to do it. Loading a gun or crossing the street , for example, are easy enough to be considered automatically successful. On the other hand, if the character is trying to reload while he’s hanging from a fire escape by one hand, or trying to cross a highway full of speeding autos, there is the chance the character will fail the action. When there is the possibility of failure, the player has to roll dices. The Gamemaster will decide which is the minimal dice result that the player will have to achieve, so the action can be considered successful. For instances, loading a gun poses no difficulty at all. However, loading it while hanging from a fire escape poses a difficulty. Trying to reload the gun while hanging from the fire escape, while being attacked by enemies is even more difficult.

 

C) ROLE-PLAYING! - The following excerpt will be a scene from a “Vampire: the Masquerade” chronicle, with Sónia as the Gamemaster, and with Ana as the player of the character “Minnie”-May Hopkins, a 9th-Generation Gangrel vampire.

 

 Sónia tells Ana that, when Minnie-May returns to her apartment, she finds it in a complete mess, and in the centre of the living-room is her housemaid’s dead body, lying in a pool of blood. Minnie also realises that her little brother is missing. Since Ana told Sónia that Minnie’s little brother means the world to her, Sónia asks Ana to roll dice for Minnie’s Self-Control, to see if Minnie-May can control herself and not go berserk out of pure rage. Ana does as she is told and has one success – Minnie is controls herself – barely.

Ana decides that Minnie will investigate around the house, so she informs Sónia that Minnie will start that action – Sónia tells Ana that before that she has to roll for Alertness, without telling the player why. Ana gets three successes – more than enough. Sónia informs her that Minnie is hearing sirens outside her house. Ana realises that someone is trying to frame Minnie-May – she remembers the housemaid’s body in the living-room - so she tells Sónia that the character will run to the back of the house, and look out a window to see if there is someone in the alley behind the building. Sónia tells her no, so, Ana says that Minnie will jump out the window. The Gamemaster is surprised and remembers her that Minnie lives in the 3rd floor. Ana insists, and Minnie crashes painfully three floors below. She is severely wounded, but since her generation is unusually low, she can heal herself in just a few turns – no more than five minutes in game time - and she escapes without being caught.

As a vampire, Minnie-May has supra-developed senses, so Ana has her tracking her brother by scent. Since it is a Summer night, the trail is easy to follow, though the kidnappers escaped by car, so Sónia adds no special difficulty to the tracking action. The trail leads Minnie-May to a warehouse in Matosinhos.

Ana is prudent, so she has Minnie investigating the warehouse before barging in. When she looks through the window, Sónia informs Ana that Minnie sees her little brother being tied down to a chair. Ana hesitates, since there are several armed men inside the warehouse – it is a trap, without a shadow of a doubt. She wonders whether she should have Minnie backing out and go call the police. But this does not suit Sónia’s plans at all – she wants Minnie to engage in combat with the thugs. So she tells Ana that the boy starts crying for his sister, and one of the men hits him. This calls for a Self-Control roll with a very high difficulty and – too bad – Ana fails the roll miserably. Minnie-May enters a state of uncontrollable rage – and storms into the warehouse.

Ana tells Sónia that Minnie will activate level two of the Protean discipline, which enables her to grow the “Wolf Claws”, two-inches long claws, and Minnie charges. There are four men in the warehouse, and since they are caught unaware, Sónia informs Ana that Minnie-May killed the first one instantly. However, the second man is running away, so Ana will have to roll Minnie’s Dexterity + Brawl to hit him. Ana scores four successes. Sónia, taking the role of the man, rolls his Dexterity + Dodge – the man is trying to get away unarmed. He gets two successes – Ana had more successes, so the man falls to the floor with his throat cut open by Minnie’s claws. But the remaining two men have already recovered from the initial shock and are ready to strike back, so they are threatening Minnie-May with shotguns: Sónia rolls the first man’s Dexterity + Firearms and he gets three successes. Ana will have Minnie dodging, so she rolls her Dexterity + Dodge – one success only – the action was not successful – Minnie is hit. The damage caused by such a weapon would usually be enough to put down most vampires, but since Minnie has Fortitude, she is more resistant than most – Ana rolls Minnie’s Stamina and gets two successes – Minnie is standing. Barely, but standing nonetheless. Ana tells Sónia Minnie will attack the man at once, trying to take him down before he can shoot again. However, (without Ana noticing it) Sónia rolls Dexterity + Firearms for the second man, who Ana totally forgot. The man gets 2 successes, and Sónia informs Ana of what happened – Minnie gets hit from behind by another shotgun pellet, and this time it is too much even for her to stand. Minnie-May is down for the count – she is now lying unconscious on the floor.

Appendix

 

The following list of terms are ‘common parlance’ among RPG players, and are listed here for an easier reference.

 

 

 


 - Action - when it is the performance of a deed or activity. When players announce that their characters are doing something, they are taking an action.

- Automatic success – the character has to perform any action that is extremely simple, or where there is hardly any possibility of failure, the action is automatically considered successful.

- Botch – when an action is miserably failed. It causes the action to be failed as well as something extremely unpleasant to happen.

- Character – 1) each player creates a character, an individual that the player will role-play over the course of the chronicle. 2) any other individual that takes part of the chronicle, either allies, friends or enemies.

- CCG – short form for Collectible Card Games, games played with an army of creatures represented by cards.

- Core books – the main book of a RPG – it defines its universe and rules.

- Difficulty – the measure of how hard a certain action is. It varies accordingly to the situations in which the characters are involved.

- Downtime – the time spent between scenes, where no role-playing is done. Action may be made, and the Gamemaster may give some description, but generally time passes quickly.

- Dungeon Master – vide ‘Gamemaster

- Gamemaster – the creator of the story, and the referee at the same time. S/he controls all events and characters that cannot be controlled by the characters.

- Roll – tossing dice whenever an action requires it.

- RPG – short form for Roleplaying Game.

- Scene – a single episode of the story, a time and place where actions and events take place.

- Score – the amount of successes a character gets after a roll.

- Session – the gathering of a troupe, to role-play.

- Storyteller – vide ‘Gamemaster

- Success – when the result from a roll is high enough to surpass the set difficulty.

- Supplements – books which supply extra information on a determined RPG, besides the one contained in the core books.

- System – the set rules for a RPG, and that usually varies from game to game.

- Tabletop game – game played with small iron figurines, representing an army.

- Troupe – group of players, including the Gamemaster, who play any RPG on a regular basis.

- Turn – minimal unit of time, during which a character can perform a simple action.

 

 

Final Word

A Final Word:

 
What makes RPGs so popular?

What is the secret of their success?

Maybe it is because they seem to have something for everybody, because they can satisfy every desire. Or maybe it is because they allow us to return to the good old days when people got by the fireplace, weaving stories to try to impress others. That was the spirit of storytelling. That is the spirit of role-playing.

 
Maybe it is because of all those reasons.

 
Or maybe it is because it is just ‘fun’.

 
No matter. What matters is that Role-playing is amusing, cheap and allows you to be someone else, somewhere away from the dull routine, or even someone who you always dreamt of being, like for instances a armoured knight in shinning armour... who could ask for more?

Em Jeito de Conclusão

Realmente foi muito divertido rever os meus primeiros passinhos no mundo do RPG.

Agora encontro bastantes falhas no trabalho, mas, na sua maioria, vejo que foi um grande esforço para fazer algo simples, interessante e inteligente sobre RPGs, e, modéstia àparte, para alguém que jogava ainda à tão pouco tempo, acho que saiu muito bem. Só mostra realmente que quem corre por gosto não cansa, e que ter-se amor pelo tema de um trabalho só ajuda a que ele saia muito bem.

Acrescento para minha grande tristeza que o trabalho não foi devidamente reconhecido. Levou um 14 porque, segundo o professor, não tinha a ver com os temas que ele tinha pedido (o que me intriga, visto que eu apresentei o tema ANTES de começar o trabalho -- suponho que ele pensava que RPGs eram outra coisa qualquer, tipo instrumento de ensino) e também estava tão bom e elaborado que ele acusou-me de plagiar da internet.

Não, simplesmente era um tema que eu adorava, por isso cada pormenor foi pensado e executado com o carinho de alguém que gosta do que faz (ainda sorrio hoje ao notar o cuidado com que fui procurar uma citação adaptável para todas as entradas).

Já me foi sugerido refazer o trabalho, em português, e revisto para incorporar novos conhecimentos. Acho que é uma ideia que me agrada muito.

 

"Game On!" minha gente!

Obrigada por lerem.

Ana Claudia Silva
aka Lady Entropy

Shinigami Roleplay

Este é um livro que reúne numa só página todos os artigos publicados ao longo do abreojogo.com que levaram ao desenvolvimento deste RPG. Também servirá para ir disponibilizando vários downloads de material para playtesting e proof-reading e para receber qualquer comentário adicional. O objectivo será a publicação online de um jogo completo, distribuido gratuitamente, desde que mantendo os direitos de autor.



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download: character sheet v0.1.0 - A Primeira Folha

Esta é a "folha de combate", a character sheet feita para a primeira campanha de playtesting. Foi rapidamente montada em Excel e passada agora para pdf. A próxima versão provavelmente será também em formato A5, só que alinhada na vertical, à japonesa :)

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download: corebook v0.1.0 - Só o Setting

Se não vos apetece ler os threads que estão dispersos pelo site, nem ver os episódios todos de Bleach disponíveis no youtube, este .pdf é para vocês :) Uma bela dose concentrada de setting adaptado e pronto a jogar.
Este ficheiro irá sendo trabalhado com novas secções e correcções ao texto e à paginação. Comentem à vontade!

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shinigami.pdf523.99 KB

Shinigami RPG - Tales of the Death Gods

Podem considerar este artigo como um companheiro deste, escrito pelo nosso amigo e GM Rick Danger.

Bom, chegou a minha altura de dar a minha opinião do jogo, visto que sou uma das jogadores e este é o unico RP que estou a jogar.

Primeiro, eu adoro o setting. Para aqueles que n conhecem Bleach, Yami no Matsuei, etc etc , os Shinigami (ou Deuses da Morte) são exactamente isso: entidades que se asseguram que as mortes e o equilibrio entre a vida e a morte ocorre comme ill faut. Geralmente, os Shinigami estão reservados para momentos de crise, não andam por aí de foice em riste ou a jogar xadrez com Dinamarqueses ou Finlandeses ou lá o que era. Se há alguem, ou algo que não está bem (como por exemplo. um fantasma que se recusa a ir para o outro mundo ou reencarnar porque tem algo a resolver ainda no mundo dos vivos) um Shinigami vai lá e traz o fantasma para o outro mundo. Os Shinigami não podem ser vistos por humanos normais, por isso as interacções sociais limitam-se outros espiritos\fantasmas, Shinigami, monstros e um ou outro raro humano que tem poderes especiais.

Claro que isto é uma simplificação do setting apenas para que percebam que

a) Tem sobrenatural a rodos.

b) Quando as coisas correm mal, correm MESMO mal (desde maniacos que querem destruir a morte, a dragões enlouquecidos que se divertem a explodir com cidades, a monstros marinhos que querem casar a filha a viva força com um membro da party...)

Segundo, este é o unico RPG que estou a jogar o que me atrai e frustra ao mesmo tempo.

Mas não vamos meter o carro à frente dos bois, vamos começar do início:

 

1 - The Mind is the Sword: Shinigami

Os Shinigami podem vir de duas origens: ou eram humanos de grande poder espiritual que quando morreram, em vez de reencarnar directamente, foram recrutados, ou nasceram logo na soul society. Não só são mais poderosos que a maior parte das outras almas (uma alma humana normal tem cerca de ratings 2 e 3 nos seus aneis, enquanto que até o Shinigami mais fraquinho tem no minimo 5 nas suas traits mais baixa, e tem algumas a 9 e 10), como também têm uma "Zanpakuto" que é a arma de escolha do Shinigami, mas com a qual está tão attuned que se torna virtualmente uma extensão fisica da alma dele. A Zanpakuto é habitada por uma espécie de espirito que muitas vezes se manifesta para falar com o seu portador. Como resultado, a arma de um shinigami cresce em poder juntamente com o seu dono, e sua perda é algo muito sério. A Zanpakuto tem geralmente duas formas. A forma "normal" (arma tem um ar muito simples, geralmente uma katana) e a forma "mistica" que é quando o portador invoca o seu verdadeiro poder. Para enviar um espirito na terra para a Soul Society, o Shinigami teria de usar a segunda forma. Muitas das vezes, a forma da arma muda ligeiramente (ou muito) para reflectir isto: por exemplo, Uryo (jogado pela Inês) tem uma katana que na forma "acordada" se transforma em naginata, equanto que a da minha personagem, Kanoe, mantem a forma normal de katana, mas aparece-lhe uma enorme e elaborada tatuagem de um dragão pelo braço direito acima, terminando à volta do olho direito dela. Em suma, a Zampakuto é a alma e a insignia de um Shinigami.

 

 

2 - Welcome to the Jungle: Soul Society

Existem vários "mundos" no setting de Shinigami: o mundo humano (nigen-do), as Shadowlands (onde estão os espiritos maus) e a Soul Society (leia-se o Além), que funciona exactamente como um reflexo (um tanto imperialista) do mundo humano: tem pessoas (quer nascidas aqui, quer humanos com almas poderosas que vêm para aqui quando morrem e onde ficam até decidirem a reencarnar outra vez), tem empregos, and so on. Quem governa a Soul Society são as familias nobres (todos nascidos na Soul Society) e os Shinigami patrulham-na, como uma especie de Policia\Milicia.

É aqui que também se localiza a Academia, o local onde as almas que o desejarem (e tiverem força espiritual suficiente) podem treinar para se tornarem Shinigami.

 

3 - O Captain, my Captain: Rank & File

Ora bem, os Shinigami estão divididos de uma forma muito militarista. Vários capitães (liderados pelo capitão do 1º Esquadrão) tem ao seu comando um esquadrão de Shinigamis, que tem todo o estilo de samurais\milicia. As coisas depois escalam em forma de piramide e a bom estilo militar com Marechais, Aides-de-Camp, Comandantes, and so on. Depois, não exactamente no topo da piramide, mas mais ao lado, existe a corte onde os nobres da Soul Society se reunem em concilio para determinar missões dos Shinigami. Obviamente, quem está lá fora a arriscar a morte e a levar no pelo são os Death Gods e muitas das vezes os Nobres não fazem ideia do que se passa na realidade, o que significa que as ordens que dão são por vezes retardadas e idiotas e irrazoaveis - o que causa uma grande tensão entre os dois grupos.

 

4 - Hollows and Spirits and Ghosts, oh my!: Inimigos

Os inimigos de um Shinigami são muitos: não só temos os problemas inerentes a uma sociedade feudal governada por cortesãos, mas temos também aqueles que não gostam da presença dos Shinigami: Hollows (almas humanas corrompidas pela sua fúria) são os maiores inimigos, mas não os unicos: almas humanas que não querem avançar, espiritos tão presos a algo (ou alguém) que se recusam a avançar, monstros miticos, necromantes, etc etc etc.

 

 

Diga-se de passagem que eu sou a que menos conhece o setting e isso fez-me resistir a jogar durante muito tempo.

 

5 - Circles Within Circles: Mecânica de Jogo

Cada Shinigami tem 5 traits associada a várias facetas de personalidade: Fire (impetuosidade, improviso, etc), Water (Lealdade, Amizade), Earth (constância), Air (amor, dedicação) e Void, o quinto aspecto que serve quer de "Hit Points" quer "Magic Points", se bem que ainda não vi muita magia a ser usada pelos PCs.

Não há XP para ninguém aqui, e a unica maneira de se aumentar os traits é fazendo RP -- quando alguma cena de RP parece adequada a uma trait, essa trait é aumentada (basta lembrar da vez que a personagem da Márcia, Shun, decide atacar de frente um contingente de 50 guerreiros e levou imediatamente 2 pontos de Fire.)

Combate fisico causa dano á trait de Void (que se recupera dormindo, meditando, relaxando, enfim, todas aquelas pequeninas coisas que nos fazem "humanos", e que os shinigami não precisam, mas podem fazer), mas combate social (insultar o valor de alguém) faz dano às outras traits (dependendo do insulto).

Joga-se lançando 2 dados e se a soma (ou um dos dados, ou se usando um como dezenas e outro como unidades) der um valor igual ou inferior à trait em questão, o teste está passado. Void pode ser gasto para aumentar uma trait, e Karma permite lançar 1 dado mais por ponto gasto. Karma é ganho de cada vez que saem valores iguais nos dados.

"Opposing Tests" (ou seja, quando um PC usa a sua trait contra outra pessoa, seja NPC ou PC, por exemplo, combate, detectar mentiras, etc)  usa aneis opostos: ou seja, se eu quiser usar uma manobra de combate que use Air (geralmente a unica diferença entre que trait se usa é o estilo de combate do PC), o meu adversário resiste com Earth e vice versa. O oposto de Fire é, obviamente, Water. Em caso de empate, o defensor vence.

 

6 - Opiniões:

Eu estou a gostar do jogo, quer seja por merito proprio, quer seja, talvez pela minha falta de RP. Mas continuo a notar várias falhas:

- O facto de não haver recompensas de "fim de jogo" torna o jogo frustrante às vezes, porque o nosso avanço depende não de nós, mas da atenção dos outros jogadores e GM (e pior que isso, depende também do que os outros jogadores acham merecedor). Assim arriscamo-nos a que um personagem é mais forte que os outros porque o GM estava atento ao RP desse personagem e o recompensou apropiadamente, mas passado um bocado estava distraido e deixou passar várias oportunidades para recompensar as outras personagens. Com a alteração em que determina que os outros jogadores tb podem dar pontos isto foi compensado, mas não muito, porque muitas das vezes estamos demasiado focados no RP (somos todas imersionistas) e não é facil sair de personagem só para dar cookies OOC.

- Isto de se receber recompensas não por fazer bom RP da personagem mas por "ter atitudes que vão de encontro com personalidade da trait X" incita ( o comportamento de "Okay, que atitude vou ter agora para ganhar pontos a Air?", arriscando-nos a cair no paradoxo que é ver personagens terem atitudes que vão completamente contra a personalidade definida -- apenas porque ter estas atitudes vai dar mais pontos à trait X, e nós já temos muitos à trait Z.

- O sistema é brilhantemente simples -- mas o perigo disto é ser simplista às vezes e contar muito com a boa vontade dos jogadores, sobretudo quando skills especificas são chamadas para a equação. Neste grupo não acredito que seja problema, mas com outros pode ser.

- Jogar com histórias que incluam atitudes "anti-party" resulta que a) as coisas não fiquem feitas porque ninguem quer colaborar, e b) a party se desintegre quando a crise passe (que é o que estou a prever que vá acontecer com este grupo), e c) muito tempo individual causa aos jogadores não na berlinda morrerem de tédio. Lembro-me que vários jogos acabaram mal no passado devido à obcessão com cenas individuais e francamente queria evitar isso neste jogo. A minha sugestão é que os "momentos independentes" se façam por Blue Booking ou sessões pessoais.

 

Sugestões:

Melhorar o sistema de "recompensas" para que não esteja dependente da (fraca) atenção dos jogadores\Gm apenas.

Limar o setting para que seja mais definido ou pelo menos assegurar que todos os jogadores sabem que shinigami não cometem seppuku mas são executados.

Deixar as "plotlines" individuais para fora da sessão. Se bem que os problemas individuais pode ter influencia na sessão central, não devem deixar os outros jogadores à seca. PTA tem um sistema para lidar com isto -- Shinigami RPG não tem e tentar dar uma de PTA é receita para o desastre.

Spin-offs: Shinigami Roleplay

 

Por vezes, há qualquer coisa que vejo na televisão, nos filmes, nos livros ou nos jornais que me faz pensar:
"Ei, se calhar isto até dava um RPG."
O título "Spin-offs" vai servir para eu assinalar estas ideias sem muito nexo no meu blogue. Curiosamente, para primeiro exemplo escolhi uma que me tem surpreendido com o seu potencial e com a facilidade em que pensei nas regras.

Este primeiro spin-off foi inspirado em fontes de cultura japonesa e anime. O Shinigami é uma personagem de encarnação japonesa que aparece em várias histórias de maneira diferente.
Neste caso, a minha inspiração é bastante épica e despretensiosa e encontra-se em animes como o famoso Bleach, Yami no Matsuei e Mirage of Blaze. Isto significa que, apesar de toda a carga emocional que se pode aproveitar de histórias com fantasmas, este jogo não seria para ser levado assim tão a sério. No entanto, existe o potencial para, em determinadas cenas, combates espetaculares serem também dramas avassaladores.

 

Não queria vos estar a cansar com uma explicação de regras, por isso preferia antes falar do que é que eu curto nesta ideia, tal como se formou na minha cabeça. Pode-se dizer que há vários pressupostos de como eu costumo jogar que este sistema põe em causa:

Stats?Um RPG em que os "atributos" ou "capacidades" de uma personagem resultam de tudo o que é a sua personalidade, ou seja, sendo o protagonista um espírito, ele é uma encarnação antropomórfica da alma que ele representa. Isto é possível através da utilização de stats deliberadamente ambíguos, ou seja, dotados de grande simbolismo, podendo assim representar simultaneamente mais do que uma só coisa.

XPs?
Um sistema em que o roleplay de cada personagem faz, cena a cena, evoluir os seus stats - as suas traits de personalidade - de acordo com o seu comportamento.

Limites?
Regras em que os stats conseguem traduzir por números, da mesma maneira, tanto as características de um mero mortal, de um espírito poderoso ou de um deus.

Indiferente?
Um RPG em que grandes combates poêm em jogo a própria maneira de ser de cada personagem, pondo em risco não só a sua vida, mas as suas convicções.

Complexo?
Um sistema rápido em que os stats dependem directamente da intensidade do roleplay da personagem.

 

Tudo isto e sem ainda um único segundo de playtesting para o comprovar :) Enviei uns mail a uns amigos, mas foi pouco o feedback. É um RPG bastante específico para um tema bastante específico. Se alguém quiser saber mais, mande-me um mail para o

que eu respondo com uma explicação alargada.

Entretanto, fiquei também com um certo spin-off depois de ter visto o segundo Pirates of the Caribean :) mas esse passou-me depressa. Talvez fale sobre outra ideia para a próxima, a ver se me saiem da cabeça.

Estou também a trabalhar num projecto mais sólido para um RPG, mas estou com dificuldades em escrevê-lo numa linguagem que queria que fosse acessível a qualquer pessoa. Naturalmente, que darei notícias quando puder postar uma versão completa.

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Superar "a party" como elemento de design

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Na grande maioria dos RPGs - por indicação explícita ou pelo que está implícito numa omissão - a party é usada como elemento essencial para estruturar a sessão de jogo. Este grupo representativo de todos os participantes avança linearmente através de um plot comum, mantendo a presença de cada um em quase todas as cenas e uma natural distribuição do tempo de sessão. Com o chamado "party mode" a funcionar quase não é necessário falar de dividir a história em cenas. O grupo é uma unidade que avança perfeitamente de A a B passando por todos os pontos intermédios, decidindo o seu percurso passo-a-passo, de acordo com um mínimo denominador comum.

Nesta estrutura, a ideia de "party mode" determina o andamento da sessão mesmo quando a própria party está separada. Quando isso acontece, formam-se "mini-parties" que se comportam exactamente como a original, continuando a jogar todos os pontos de A a B, dividindo o tempo de sessão até que todas as mini-parties percorram essa distãncia/tempo. Daqui resulta que - se o "party mode" é, de facto, extremamente eficaz a estruturar a sessão quando os protagonistas estão juntos - tal não acontece quando o grupo está separado.

Quando a party está separada - presupondo que não há multitasking em RPG tabletop - vários factores podem perturbar a sessão:

  • Quantos mais jogadores participarem, mais tempo demora a que cada um tenha a sua vez de jogar e menos tempo se avança em sessão.
  • Para cada jogador que está em cena, a maioria do grupo apenas assiste à sessão sem ter forma de participar.
  • Sendo o ritmo da história da party afectado, os jogadores sentem-se pressionados a despachar as suas cenas ou sentem que acontecem poucas coisas em sessão.

Perante estas possíveis falhas, há que decidir, em termos de design, se vale a pena utilizar o "party mode" ou não. Se se optar por manter a estrtura em party, existem várias soluções para a existência destes problemas:

Em Wraith the Oblivion - um jogo de intenso drama e roleplay pessoal - a ideia de party mantém-se mesmo quando os protagonistas têem imenso para jogar sozinhos. Para que isso não se torne contraproducente, os designers introduziram a ideia de uma "shadow", um alter-ego que acorda na consciência de um fantasma e que constitui o seu lado negro. O controlo sobre este alter-ego é atribuído não ao mestre-jogo, mas a outro jogador, de forma a que, em qualquer cena, pelo menos dois jogadores estão envolvidos.

Em Dogs in the Vineyard, a ideia de party está inerente ao setting - grupo de cowboys paladinos andando de cidade em cidade - mas o jogo não precisa dela para estruturar a sessão. As cenas são movidas pela apresentação de conflitos e o sistema de resolução fá-las avançar independentemente de o grupo estar junto ou não.

Em Exalted, não é que o sistema de resolução ajude a que as cenas passem mais depressa, nem está nas regras a possibilidade de um jogador que não está lá poder participar, mas existe em toda a apresentação do jogo a intenção de tornar cada cena num espetáculo que seja divertido mesmo para quem só está a assistir. Todos os personagens (incluindo NPCs) são recompensados por cada Stunt - acção fora-de-série descrita de forma espectacular - que quiserem tentar.

Por outro lado - e é esta a questão que queria levantar com este artigo - também será possível passar ao lado do tradicional "party mode" e criar uma outra forma de ajudar a estruturar a sessão? Alguns possíveis exemplos são:

Em My Life with Master, era muito fácil forçar a ideia de party - vocês todos trabalham para o mesmo mestre - mas o autor nunca foi por aí. Simplesmente sugere que a sessão seja estruturada em cenas que são sugeridas alternadamente pelo mestre-jogo ou por cada um dos jogadores e que cada cena seja resolvida rapidamente com um sistema de resolução que prevê todas as situações possíveis. É o que eu chamo de "nutshell approach". O jogo está tão focado, tão focado que se resolve a ele próprio.

Em Primetime Adventures não existe setting propriamente dito, pelo que o livro em si é uma explicação detalhada de como é suposto organizar a sessão numa estrutura inspirada nas séries de televisão. O party mode só existe se os jogadores insistirem nele.

Em Kayfabe acontece o contrário, é pelo setting em si - roleplay de wrestling - que não existe party. O jogo explica como a sessão se deverá estruturar, havendo basicamente só três ou quatro tipos de cenas ordenadas para culminarem no main event.

De que outras maneiras se poderá superar "a party" como elemento estrutural da sessão? Se ela não é sempre um dado adquirido, o que se deverá ter em conta antes de procurar criar outra estrutura? E como a criar?

[RPGénesis] Shinigami fora da gaveta

Cá está o copy-paste do primeiro dia com setecentas e poucas palavras:

Shinigami: Contos dos Deuses da Morte escreveu:

1. Apresentação

"Shinigami: Contos dos Deuses da Morte" é um jogo que te permite a ti e aos teus amigos entrarem no distinto mundo destes míticos ceifeiros de almas e instantaneamente criarem as vossas próprias histórias bem ao gosto da vossa imaginação.

1.1. O que é um "Shinigami"?

Conhecido em Português como o Anjo da Morte e em Inglês como o Grim Reaper, o ceifeiro de almas que personifica a morte é uma personagem europeia adoptada pela cultura japonesa durante o período Meiji. Em todo o tipo de arte e ficção, este termo japonês que significa "espírito da morte" tem-se aplicado a muitas variantes de seres sobrenaturais que de alguma forma estão relacionados com a passagem dos vivos para o mundo dos mortos seja como guardiões dessa fronteira, facilitadores dessa travessia, controladores de almas ou mesmo guerreiros que lutam por poder, território ou simplesmente contra criaturas malignas.
Antropomorfizar a morte permite criar situações em que, por exemplo, é possível a alguém que está destinado a morrer negociar com este Anjo para poder se manter vivo por mais tempo. A questão central aqui é que toda a gente está destinada a morrer mais cedo ou mais tarde e conseguir um adiamento pouca diferença faz na grande escala do universo. A morte faz parte da vida e é graças a ela que o ser humano valoriza o tempo que tem para viver. Na generalidade, a Morte não implica necessariamente o conceito de alma, divindade, reincarnação, céu, inferno, zombies, fantasmas, vampiros, espectros, etc. Implica apenas uma força inerente ao equilíbrio do universo que faz terminar o percurso de uma vida. Nesta personificação, esta força tanto pode ser considerada omnipresente, omnisciente e ser uma só personagem, como pode ter um aspecto mais humano, estar dividida em vários agentes que agem em nome dela, cometer erros, ser enganada ou chegar atrasada para cumprir os seus deveres.
Se nos colocarmos do ponto de vista do próprio Shinigami, o que ele no essencial faz é vigiar a fronteira entre os vivos e os mortos assegurando-se que os vivos, quando morrem, a atravessam sem demoras nem perturbações. Esta tarefa seria simples não fosse pela extensa e eterna tensão entre a vida e a morte. Os vivos não querem separar-se dos mortos de quem gostam e os mortos não querem deixar para trás a sua vida. Esta tensão que se estende em redor a toda a realidade faz com que esta fronteira à guarda dos Shinigami seja muito mais do que uma mera barreira, ela é um território onde todo o mundo dos vivos está reflectido, uma verdadeira Terra das Sombras. Nela, os espíritos dos mortos mantêm-se num limbo recusando-se a partir para a sua morada final, seja ela qual for (um céu, um inferno, uma reencarnação, um abismo vazio, etc.). Cada espírito tem o seu destino para onde ir, mas também tem nele a vontade de permanecer nesta Terra das Sombras onde o mundo dos vivos está tão perto que até, ás vezes, é possível tocar-lo. Cabe aos Shinigami guiar, ajudar ou forçar cada espírito a partir para que a grande roda da vida e da morte continue a girar.

1.2. De onde vem este jogo?

"Shinigami: Contos dos Deuses da Morte" é algo a que em inglês se chama um tabletop Role-Playing Game, um tipo de jogo cooperativo em que os participantes partilham entre si a ideia de um mundo imaginário no qual histórias são criadas ao sabor do improviso e ao gosto de todos. Esta cooperação funciona dando a cada um dos jogadores, excepto um, o controlo sobre uma personagem protagonista na história e a um dos jogadores o controlo sobre todas as outras personagens e sobre o mundo em que a história se passa. Este último jogador é também, muito provavelmente, o primeiro leitor deste livro, a pessoa que convence as outras jogar e o moderador que orienta a sessão de jogo - por isso é alguém que merece um título especial, neste jogo ele é o Anfitrião.

Os tabletop Role-Playing Games existem pelo menos desde a década de 70, mas a restante inspiração para este jogo vem de algo bastante mais recente: a explosão de popularidade da cultura japonesa no Ocidente e, em particular, o surgimento de bandas desenhadas e desenhos animados como Bleach, Yami no Matsuei, Death Note e Soul Eater, entre outros.

preview 08/03/2007: criação de personagem

Estou desejoso de vos ir mostrando alguma coisa, mas o tamanho de um ficheiro .pdf não se compadece com estar a fazer updates frequentes. Por isso, deixo-vos com um copy-paste das primeiras páginas sobre criação de personagem. Prometo-vos que no .pdf está tudo muito mais bonitinho :) mas, como sempre, comentem o que quiserem. E estejam à vontade para tirar ideias para personagens ;)


 

Is this a game?

The personal story of a young ghost hoping to take revenge for her murder. The dangerous battle that ensues when an army of spectres invades a reclusive village. The chance to move up the ranks of your squad with a few well-placed rumours. The grand tournament between all thirteen squads. The little time you have to find out which one of the Four Noble Lineages tried to assassinate you. The grave responsability of leading an army of rebels against the oppression in the Court of Pure Souls. The crimes your Taishô does not need to know about. The first time you address the Court and push forth the need for reform. The great final confrontation between the captain and his ambitious lieutenant. The secrets you have learned from Jigoku and the unlimited power they promise. The squad's final stand at the gates of Rokungai. The one fatal battle that tragically puts you against the only one you ever loved.

All of the Shinigami epic tales you can imagine are yours to play. Gather a group of friends and start by creating characters. Here is how it is done.

 

 

What does this button do?

Your character sheet indicates several Traits. The Elements are: Air, Earth, Fire and Water - they are in tune with your character's personality and evolve accordingly during play. As presented in the character sheet, Air opposes Earth and Fire opposes Water. After these four, there are also two other Traits, each influencing gameplay in a completely different manner. Void represents your soul's raw spiritual power and energy. Kharma will measure the pull of destiny and the musings of fate during the course of play. We shall now review each Trait for the purpose of character creation.

 

 

Air
This Element represents all that is metaphorically above us, be it the clouds - our wildest dreams - or our first breath of passion; be it that uncounscious leap of faith or our most daring ambitions, even the desire to go beyond the beyonds; be it to shout at the top of your lungs or to lie in waiting for divine inspiration; be it that one moment of freedom, going out on a limb or our willingness to leave everything behind for just a whisp of art, love or fantasy.
Like in all Elements, to describe Air along these lines is only a tiny glance of a wide, open symbol for either love, art, communication, luck, audacity or infinity. Like in all Elements, Air stands for a lot of different ideas and motivations.

Therefore, to help you with your character's creation, there are several characteristics that can describe a personality that favours this Element. Several examples can be given. He can be an absent-minded dreamer that gives little value to what people call reality. She can be a very simpathetic person that constantly cares for other people's moods, desires and emotions. He can be an old wanderer that can never stay in the same place for long. She can be a young daughter that goes against her family to marry for love. He can be someone that only knows how to fight by taking chances no one else will. She can be that runaway girl who always relies on the kindness of strangers.

Besides general characteristics, one can also define any of the four Elements by addressing personal motivations. Being driven by Air means that one does not adhere to formal rules and ancient traditions, but that each person should be valued as an individual, for every face has a story to tell and every heart has the power to move mountains. To believe in Air is to believe that all people crave for the freedom and knowledge to be able to express themselves and that progress can only be made without artificial constraints. The ambition of Air is to go to the heights of the unimaginable, to make your own rules and find your own path, holding only freedom as property and letting fortune take care of the rest.

 

Earth

This Element represents a strong foundation from which everything is built on. It is not only about rules and tradition, Earth is about all the choices that are already made out for us, from which we find security and confidence. It is also about nurturing and protecting those choices for ourselves and others. Among all of the Elements, Earth symbolizes not only tradition and the need for authority, but it also stands for patience, zeal and self-control.

There are several possible concepts that may distinguish someone with a strong Earth quality. He can be a young noble torn between the demands of his ancestral family and the duties of a Shinigami. She can be a dedicated student of the Academy that does her best to help newcomers learn their proper place. He can be an old and modest warrior that has slowly lost everything, except his will to uphold the law. She can be a loyal daughter on a quest to clear her family's reputation. He can be a poor child lost in the big city, looking for his older brother. She can be a promissing young oficer that steps up to lead her squad when they face a losing battle. He can be a strict and demanding teacher that still fights to protect the ancient ways. She can be a desperate wife that strives to save her marriage for the sake of her children. He can be a faithfull soldier willing to die for his captain. She can be the last remaining descendant of a powerful samurai clan.

The Element of Earth can also be explained through character motivation. Being driven by Earth is to excell in the shadow of those who came before you, thereby bringing righteous order where there is chaos. In accordance to one's place in society, to believe in Earth is to put one's strenght at the service of a higher purpose, knowing that it will be greater if joined as one, under clear leadership. For the sake of others, it is also to carry that same weight of leadership upon one's shoulders if the need to do so arises.

 

 

Fire

This is the primordial blaze of creation and the inner light of unique personality that shines within each individual. Its aura can either fiercely burn or gently warm everything around it, either exploding in a wild burst and consuming itself or bringing precious convinction in a decisive moment. Like any Element, it needs to be carefully cultivated. Fire is the sole symbol for personal sacrifice, courage, conviction and necessary fury.

One can translate Fire into diferent character concepts or situations, to name a few. She can be a promissing scholar that decides to find her own way as a dancer. He can be a primogen that choses to help the rebels against his father. She can be a pregnant woman that sacrifices herself for the birth of her child. He can be one of the "47 Ronin", who will only find rest by sacrificing himself to take revenge for the death of his Lord. She can be a dangerous duelist that picks fights with any warrior she happens to meet. He can be a risk-taker who needs to walk on the edge of the blade to feel alive.

A great deal of character motivation can also be atributed to Fire. This Element strives to trace its blazing mark upon the universe, expressing the importance of the self and the cycle of life and death as the beginning and end of all existence. Any sole individual is called upon by Fire to make his presence felt and take hold of his destiny; to care for what he believes in and push himself beyond the red line; to fear not what others think or the rules of society; to be the one who does what needs to be done; to feel the rush of riding your own fate and enduring it.

 

download: Folha do Protagonista (v0.5)

Este é a folha de personagem para a nova versão do Shinigami feita em Português e com toda uma série de conceitos novos. Não tem practicamente nada a ver com a versão anterior do jogo.

Sistema Sfaera

Logo

O Sfaera pretende ser um sistema completo porém que se expresse de forma clara e intuitiva não necessitando de tomos e tomos de explicações e regras. Tanto que o sistema todo não ultrapassará metade dos livros conhecidos não devendo em nada em complexidade para eles no quesito qualidade e vencendo-os em simplicidade no quesito facilidade.
Sendo dividido em três capitulos essênciais:

  • Criando
  • Jogando
  • Evoluindo

Cada capítilo refer-se há uma determinada hora do jogo porém o livro de regras não será de uso continuo e estará sendo descartado em pouco tempo de jogo pois o sistema é a Ficha e suas extenções ( cartas das armas,magias etc). O livro é apenas um apoio de regras.

Tagmar 2 - RPG 100% Gratuito em Português

Em setembro de 2004, os autores do RPG Tagmar se reuniram, e decidiram liberar os direitos comerciais do RPG Tagmar (o primeiro RPG criado no Brasil).

Tagmar 2Com esta resolução em mãos, um grupo de pessoas se reuniu através da Internet, para criar uma nova versão do Tagmar... Nascia assim em 9 de setembro de 2004 o Projeto Tagmar 2.

Muito esforço foi gasto em 4 anos de trabalho intenso, que deram a ele uma nova roupagem, mecânica de jogo fluente e um cenário mais vivo. Tudo isso contribui para que o Tagmar voltasse de forma surpreendente ao cenário nacional mostrando toda a sua força nessa nova fase.

O projeto não só relançou uma nova versão do RPG, como deu continuidade disponibilizando inúmeros suplementos que aumentaram. Após 4 anos o Tagmar 2 passou a ter uma extensa lista que hoje conta com mais de duas dezenas de títulos que incluem manuais de regras, livros de ambientação, mapas, fichas, aventuras, contos e até um romance.

Toda esta gama de títulos só foi possível porque o projeto Tagmar 2 é mantido pela força da colaboração voluntária dos fãs de RPG. É um RPG feito pelos jogadores para os jogadores.

O mais interessante é que qualquer um pode entrar para o projeto para colaborar. Todos são bem vindos, desde aqueles que entram apenas para dar sugestões e participar das discussões internas, como aqueles que põem a mão na massa e desenvolvem os textos de regras, ambientação, criaturas, aventura, e contos. A inscrição no projeto é simples (e de graça), os detalhes de como se inscrever podem visto em:

http://www.tagmar2.com.br/ComoParticipar.aspx

Assim, para aqueles que anseiam por um bom RPG de fantasia medieval, com suporte, atualizações e lançamentos constantes e, acima de tudo, 100% grátis, não precisam mais se aventurar pelos tortuosos caminhos da internet. Esse RPG existe, é realidade e está ao alcance de todos. Sejam bem-vindos ao fantástico mundo de Tagmar!

OBS: todo material abaixo relacionado está disponível para download gratuito em www.tagmar2.com.br

Lista de Títulos hoje disponíveis para o Tagmar 2

Tagmar2 - Manual de Regras 2.2: Livro com todas as regras do Tagmar 2.1. Este livro tem tudo que é necessárias para se criar um personagem e para se jogar. Este livro é de uso dos jogadores e do Mestre de Jogo.

Livro de Magias: Livro com todas as magias de todas as profissões. Ideal para os jogadores cujos personagens vão entrar em algum Colégio ou Ordem. Este livro não é recomendado para jogadores iniciantes, que devem usar o Guia de Magias para principiantes.

Livro de Criaturas: Livro com todas as criaturas já publicadas do Tagmar. Livro de uso exclusivo do Mestre de Jogo, contém todas as descrições e estatísticas de combate das criaturas existentes em Tagmar.

Livro de Introdução à Ambientação: Livro com a parte introdutória da ambientação do Tagmar. Este livro contém a ambientação básica do Tagmar, é de uso do Mestre de Jogo, mas também pode ser lido pelos jogadores, pois ele dá uma descrição geral da ambientação sem entrar em algum detalhe que comprometa as aventuras.

Livro dos Reinos: Livro contendo a descrição detalhada de cada um dos reinos do mundo de Tagmar.

Livro das Ordens Sacerdotais: Este é um livro que detalha cada uma das 13 ordens sacerdoatis de Tagmar e é destinado aos jogadores que desejam aprofundar a interpretação de seus sacerdotes, e para os mestres poderem enriquecer suas aventuras. Novo!

Crônicas Tagmar: Livro que reúne 8 contos ambientados em Tagmar, ideal para jogadores e mestres poderem conhecer mais o mundo de Tagmar.

Traição & Magia: 1º romance ambientado em Tagmar. Fruto do primeiro concurso de romance para Tagmar, foi escrito por Antonio Joalison Araujo Moraes e com capa de Sergio Artigas, conta uma intrigante história passada no conturbado reino de Dansem. Novo!

Tagmap 0.7.6: Software para PC (windows) para auxilio e apoio aos Mestres de Jogo.

Mapa Geral: Mapa colorido do Tagmar 2 com muito mais detalhes que o original para ser impresso em formato grande. (A2 ou A3)

Guia de Magias para Principiantes: Guia que descreve todas as magias que cada personagem iniciante tem acesso. Não inclui as magias dos Colégios e Ordens as quais o personagem iniciante não tem acesso. Nova capa!

Livro dos Arquétipos: Livro com 24 personagens prontos abrangento as 6 raças e 6 profissões de ambos os sexos.

Ficha do Personagem: Ficha do personagem.

Tabelas de Resolução: Encarte com o conjunto de tabelas para uso durante o jogo. Devem ser impressas em impressora colorida e são de uso dos jogadores e do Mestre de Jogo.

Tagmar Daemon - Módulo Básico 1.0: Livro com todas as regras da adpatação do Tagmar para o sistema Daemon. Este livro tem tudo que é necessárias para se criar um personagem e para se jogar. Este livro é de uso dos jogadores e do Mestre de Jogo.

Guia Rápido de Criação de Personagem: Para os jogadores mais experientes, este guia contém o resumo das regras de criação de personagens que estão no Manual de Regras. Facilita a criação de personagens.

Guia do Colégio Necromântico: Guia destinado os jogadores cujos personagens entraram no colégio Necromântico.

Guia do Colégio das Ilusões: Guia destinado os jogadores cujos personagens entraram no colégio das Ilusões.

Guia do Colégio do Elemental: Guia destinado os jogadores cujos personagens entraram no colégio Elemental.

Guia do Colégio Naturalista: Guia destinado os jogadores cujos personagens entraram no colégio Naturalista.

Guia do Colégio Alquímico: Guia destinado os jogadores cujos personagens entraram no colégio Alquímico.

Guia do Colégio do Conhecimento: Guia destinado os jogadores cujos personagens entraram no colégio do Conhecimento.

Aventura Pronta 1 - O Casamento: Aventura pronta inicial do Tagmar 2. Excelente para personagens iniciantes. Nova capa

Aventura Pronta 2 - O Arado de Ouro: 2ª Aventura pronta do Tagmar 2. Excelente para personagens iniciantes, podendo ser usada como continuação da aventura O Casamento.

Aventura Pronta 3 - A Ilha dos Corvos: 3ª Aventura pronta do Tagmar 2. Excelente para personagens de estágio 2 a 3, podendo ser usada como continuação da aventura O Arado de Ouro.

Aventura Pronta 4 - A Fronteira: 4ª Aventura pronta do Tagmar 2. Excelente para personagens de estágio 3 a 5, podendo ser usada como continuação da aventura A Ilha dos Corvos.

The 101

The 101 RPG é um jogo de conspirações mundiais e acção intensa, baseado nas obras de John Woo, que nos dá a técnica hoje sobejamente usada em cinema chamada Wire Fu, da qual o Matrix é o mais conhecido exemplo, de Ken Hite, mestre da História Secreta e Alternativa, escritor, entre outros, de vários suplementos para GURPS e da rubrica Suppressed Transmissions, e, por último mas não em último, da mente perversa de Warren Ellis, o britânico escritor de comics, sobejamente conhecido pelo seu trabalho em The Authority, Planetary, e a maior influência aqui, de Global Frequency.

The 101 RPG retrata o trabalho de uma organização chamada The 101, nome que significa não só o número de operativos que a organização emprega a nível mundial, todos com a sua especialidade diferente e todos igualmente úteis, mas uma sigla que significa Guia ou Introdução, e pretende ser uma piada interna ao trabalho que desenvolvem.

The 101 RPG é um jogo onde convivem diariamente L. Ron Hubbard, o Santo Graal, Bin Laden e a CIA, Maçonaria, Àrea 51, e tudo o mais que conseguem imaginar ou ler nos jornais. Aqui, fazem-se experiências para viajar para mundos imaginários, constroem-se bombas de despopulação, OVNIS chegam do futuro, lobisomens uivam à Lua, e sabe-se a verdadeira razão do 11 de Setembro. E é com tudo isto que lida o The 101. Para que estas notícias permaneçam nos tablóides. E a única maneira de o fazer é com um pontapé de Kung Fu em cheio na cara.

O operativo da The 101 é um homem ou uma mulher com capacidades físicas, intelectuais, e por vezes sobrenaturais, que o coloca num patamar muito acima do humano mortal. Alguns deles não podem sequer continuar a ser chamados humanos, embora mantenham essa aparência, enquanto outros não são mortais, embora finjam a própria morte. Todos eles são especialmente treinados para intervir no terreno, seja em combate corpo a corpo, seja em negociação activa de reféns, seja em assassinato. O operacional do The 101 é também a pessoa mais cool à face da Terra: seja a gabardine preta até aos pés e as duas Uzi, seja a cicatriz na cara, seja o passado misterioso, seja a katana em plena cidade, ou ainda o facto de segurar uma bola de fogo na mão direita e estar com um sorriso pirómano na cara.

O The 101 RPG é sobre essas pessoas e o mundo de conspirações onde vivem, e agora vais ter oportunidade de ser um deles.

Novo jogo na forja?! Woohoo

Rui escreveu:

Curioso que estou em jogos Narrative, o meu sonho era ter um jogo Sim que tivesse regras para Imersionismo, e que desse aos jogadores a opção de, de vez em quando, tomar conta da narrativa.

Isto deu-me que pensar hoje de noite, já que não consegui dormir depois do jantar de ontem, e parece-me que também chegou a minha altura de, finalmente, por em papel (ou pdf...) os meus pensamentos sobre isto. Tenho algumas notas pelo computador que posso agregar, tenho algumas ideias que acho piada, e finalmente tenho mais experiência hoje que há um ano.

Por isso, malta, este espaço vai servir para que eu vos possa dar o meu próprio RPG! Vou por aqui as minhas ideias, construido a coisa desde o inicio, até ter as bases bem formadas de um jogo que toda a gente possa perceber e jogar desde o inicio. Como este é um espaço livre, toda a gente pode mandar o seu bitaite ou a sua ideia. Raios, eu até estou à espera que o façam! Este não será um projecto cooperativo, notem, mas prometo ler todas as vossas opiniões e ideias, e, se achar que são melhores que as minhas, seja em que aspecto for, então irei incorporá-las no texto. Poderão depois usá-lo como quiserem. E se não o quiserem usar, pelo menos eu ficarei satisfeito ao tirar este peso dos ombros!

Assim, vou-vos dizer o que quero:

1) Quero um RPG simples

  • Aqui é a parte mais importante de todo o projecto: ele tem que ser imediatamente perceptível para que, quando se pegue nele pela primeira vez, se consiga jogar imediatamente. As regras devem ser simples para que não sejam dificeis de perceber e não poderão estar no caminho daquilo que mais me interessa neste projecto, o Imersionismo; aliás, as regras deverão incentivar este tipo de jogo.
  • Será com dados D6: toda a gente os tem em casa, ou facilmente se rapinam a jogos como o Monopólio. Ainda não tenho a mecânica bem definida, mas este aspecto eu quero ter (o facto de ter sempre 3D6 comigo ao computador também ajudam)

2) Quero um RPG Imersionista

  • Quero um RPG que viva tanto da imaginação dos seus participantes, como da vontade com que eles exercem essa imaginação, mas também quero que tanto os jogadores como os GM's se sintam à vontade neste papel. Enquanto este tipo de jogo será  incentivado, ele não será nunca mantido à ponta de espada.
  • Embora me vá basear em definições de modelos já existentes, tentarei dar o meu cunho pessoal ao jogo

3) Quero um RPG Simulacionista

  • Tanto quanto possível, irão existir "regras" e "realidades" que se irão manter em practicamente todos os aspectos do jogo, sendo as óbvias excepções as alturas em que o jogo deixa de ser Simulacionista e passa a ser Narrativista; uma boa compreensão das duas definições é essencial
  • Aqui também vou procurar em bases de modelos existentes, e procurarei desviar-me delas o mínimo possível

4) Quero um RPG que se possa tornar em Narrativista

  • Quero que os Jogadores se sintam mais que isso, que possam usar da sua criatividade e imaginação para mais do que apenas descrever como batem num mook, e o jogo vai ter mecânicas para isso: se, a dado momento, as condições forem certas, o Jogador pode interromper o GM e descrever ele o que se passa a seguir, tanto com o personagem dele como com o dos outros e com a própria acção e ambiente à sua volta, dentro do limite imposto pelo tema do jogo - soa pior escrito do que na minha cabeça, acreditem
  • Aqui não há volta a dar-lhe: o modelo Narrativo é de facto muito simples, por isso não irei desviar-me dele

5) Quero Ken Hite meets John Woo meets Warren Ellis

  • Sou um grande fâ destes três senhores, e só de olhar para os nomes julgo que já poderão começar a imaginar o tema do jogo...
  • ...que irá ser Grandes Lutas com Grandes Conspirações com Grandes Poderes - grandes poderes? Bom, talvez apenas mais do que o Average Joe ;)

Isto para já parece uma grande salganhada, mas a seu tempo julgo que poderei dar-lhe a volta. Antevejo algumas dificuldades, especialmente no papel do GM no meio disso, além do óbvio de tentar misturar as coisas. Aqui contarei com o vosso apoio e feedback.

Não faço ideia da regularidade com que actualizarei isto. Tanto quanto puder, para começar, mas pelo menos uma vez por semana, a menos que me aconteça algo que me impeça de postar. Como já disse, tenho algumas ideias já em papel e outras ainda na cabeça, é questão apenas de as ordenar.

Conto convosco para me mandarem abaixo nisto, ou acima, se acherem que é caso disso. As coisas fixes são sempre mereredoras de apoio, julgo eu. ;)

The 101 - 01 - Operatives

No início da campanha (ou aventura) há uma sessão de jogo especial chamada Briefing. No Briefing todos os jogadores apresentam os seus personagens, chamados Operatives, e o GM, chamado Chios(*), apresenta os Mission Parameters.

Cada personagem deve ter um nome de código que deve ser apelativo, que deve ser exemplificativo da sua personalidade, da sua missão pessoal, dos seus poderes, do seu equipamento ou passado. Pode também ser parte do nome, uma sigla ou acrónimo. É um nome de código que será usado durante a Missão e pelo qual os companheiros o conhecem.

(*)Chios é o nome de um Operative que trabalha a partir dos computadores da Nasa, ou da Microsoft, ou do Parlamento Europeu, ou ainda de outro computador igualmente importante; ninguém sabe exactamente de onde nem como ele/ela se chama, uma vez que ninguém o/a viu, e ele/ela chama os outros Operatives para os seus telemóveis a partir de uma dessas localizações, ou de várias ao mesmo tempo: é Chios quem atribui todas as missões aos vários Operatives espalhados pelo planeta!

Chios é também uma ilha grega entre duas outras ilhas, Samos e Lesbos, e no Hebreu é uma palavra que significa "no meio", ou "entre duas coisas", e é derivada da palavra "escolha"; Chios, curiosamente, é também muito parecida com a palavra inglesa "choice", e daí este Operative tão especial ter esse nome. Estes significados, e a escolha da palavra para ele/ela, são apenas uma das muitas piadas internas do The 101.

Exemplos:

Inês resolve criar um personagem para The 101, e resolve chamar-lhe Peony, uma flor que significa vergonha; talvez ela tenha vergonha do seu passado?

Tiago vai também criar um personagem para jogar, e chama-lhe Bosou, o nome de um Loa Haitiano. Isto pode significar um passado místico.

João cria uma personagem e chama-lhe Johnson, que não significa nada em especial. Isto não é necessariamente mau, ele pode querer passar despercebido, ou pode querer dizer que o personagem ainda está integrado na sociedade.

O Briefing é feito descrevendo um historial do personagem, assim como três descriptivos distintos do personagem:

Cool Factor, Motivation, e Background

O Briefing é sempre acompanhado de um processo de apreciação por parte dos outros jogadores e de Chios. Por cada item apresentado os jogadores e Chios irão dizer se o acham Cool ou não, e por cada "woah, isso é fixe!", o jogador ganha 1 ponto que pode usar para subir o seu Cool Factor.

Cool Factor

Cada personagem tem apenas uma característica principal chamada The Cool Factor.

O que é o The Cool Factor? É o conjunto das coisas que fazem um personagem parecer Cool. Este pode ser algo tão especifico como uma peça de equipamento fora do vulgar, como algo tão vago como uma descrição do seu passado, ou algo como uma característica pessoal que é tão forte que toda a gente nota, ou ainda uma capacidade sobrehumana impossível de disfarçar, mas ainda assim extremamente Cool. Isto será o centro do personagem, é onde ele vai buscar o seu mojo, é aquilo que faz os outros ficar de boca aberta, é o que o separa do comum dos mortais. Durante o jogo será usado para determinar a Dificuldade de cada acção, mecânica essa descrita mais adiante.

O Cool Factor varia entre 1 e 5, sendo que 1 representa alguém que simplesmente não é Cool, e 5 representa o ser mais cool do Mundo. Quanto maior o Cool Factor, mais fáceis serão as acções dos personagens. É por isso da maior importância que a personagem seja sempre o mais Cool possível. O Cool Factor representa também o número de vezes que o jogador pode pedir o Cool State e tomar conta da narrativa durante o jogo.

O Cool Factor não pode ser, na fase de Briefing, abaixo de 3. Se for, ele sobe automaticamente para 3.

Exemplos:

Inês decide que Peony é uma operacional que foi durante toda a vida sistematicamente raptada por extraterrestres e operada para ficar super-humana. Ela usa uma gabardine preta até aos pés, veste completamente de preto, e anda sempre com duas Uzis, cujas balas parecem nunca acabar. Os outros jogadores acham que isto é extremamente Cool, e Peony tem por isso um Cool Factor de 4.

Bosou, o personagem do Tiago, é um homem extremamente belo, de características orientais e africanas, cujos pais, uma jovem haitiana e um turista sino-americano, na noite da sua concepção na cidade de Port-au-Prince, completamente embriagados fizeram um ritual para o unir ao espirito Bosou Koblamin, um violento espírito capaz de derrotar os inimigos. O ritual correu melhor do que esperavam, e o pequeno rapaz cresceu com duas almas: a sua, e a do espirito. Os outros jogadores e Chios acham isto impressionantemente Cool, e dão-lhe um Cool Factor de 5.

João diz que o seu personagem, Johnson, opera a partir das sombras e é um génio da informática que consegue entrar em todos os sistemas e computadores. Johnson modificou o seu telemóvel de última geração para controlar remotamente qualquer tipo de máquina. Os outros jogadores acham que isto pode ser útil, mas que não é terrivelmente Cool, e dão-lhe por isso um Cool Factor de apenas 3.

Motivation

Cada personagem deve ter também até três características secundárias chamadas Motivations. As Motivations são aquilo que faz o personagem continuar a lutar apesar de todas as coisas postas contra ele, e também muitas vezes o que o mantém sano ao ser confrontado com as camadas de conspirações para dominar o Mundo. Podem ser coisas pessoais, equipamento, conhecimentos, perícias, etc.

Estas Motivations serão apresentadas da mesma maneira que o Cool Factor, e os outros jogadores e Chios, ao contrário de no passo anterior onde decidiam e atríbuiam pontos ao Cool Factor, aqui decidem se elas são Cool ou não para ter. O jogador que as apresenta pode reclamar que uma delas é Essential para o seu personagem, e esta não poderá ser descartada. Os outros jogadores e Chios podem, no caso de acharem que uma das Motivations não é suficiente Cool, sugerir outra. Uma vez que The 101 RPG tem uma forte vertente de acção, é extremamente sensato escolher uma delas nesse sentido.

Durante o jogo serão usadas para determinar se o personagem pode ou não tentar uma acção, o que será descrito mais adiante.

Exemplos:

Inês quer para Peony três Motivations, Inhumanly Strong, Twin Uzi, e Sarcastic Bitch, e escolhe a primeira delas, Inhumanly Strong, como aquela que é Essential para o personagem. Ela tem duas Motivations de combate, Unhumanly Strong e Twin Uzi, e uma de interacção social, Sarcastic Bitch. Os jogadores acham que todas são Cool.

Tiago escolhe para Bosou as seguintes Motivations: é um Kick Ass Bastard com uma Iron Skin, e Cinematically Attractive, escolhendo Kick Ass Bastard como a sua Essential Motivation. Os jogadores e Chios acham que Iron Skin pode estar incluída em Kick Ass Bastard e rejeitam-na, dizendo que apenas as outras são Cool. Eles sugerem Spirit Knowledge, que Tiago aceita. As Motivations de Bosou são assim Kick Ass Bastard, Cinematically Attractive, e Spirit Knowledge.

João diz que Johnson tem três motivations: Computer Wiz, Ultimate Cellphone e Masonic Ties, reclamando que Computer Wiz é a sua Essential Motivation. Os jogadores aceitam as duas primeiras, rejeitando a terceira e sugerindo Contact in High Place, que João aceita. As suas Motivations são Computer Wiz, Ultimate Cellphone e Contact in High Place.

Background

Cada personagem deve ter ainda um Background. O Background é algo do passado do personagem que o atormenta no seu dia a dia. Pode ser algo físico, como um inimigo, ou pode ser uma recordação do passado, ou ainda uma doença crónica que o atormenta, ou até mesmo um fantasma do Além!

Os Backgrounds são apresentados da mesma maneira que o Cool Factor, e os jogadores podem ou não aprová-los ou sugerir outros, como nas Motivations.

Em jogo, os Backgrounds são usados para atrapalhar as acções dos jogadores.

Exemplos:

Inês escolhe para Peony o seguinte Background: Haunted Past. Ela é assombrada pelo seu passado de raptos alienígenas. Os jogadores e Chios concordam com isto.

Tiago diz que Bosou é diariamente assombrado pelo espírito que o habita, e isto é aprovado pelos jogadores. Ele aponta Bosou Koblamin como o seu Background.

João não consegue decidir-se num background, por isso o grupo sugere que ele é perseguido pelas autoridades devido ao seu trabalho como hacker, e ele aceita, apontando na folha Wanted by the Authorities como sendo agora o seu Background.

Mission Parameters

Nesta fase Chios apresenta os Mission Parameters, os objectivos que espera ver cumpridos na Missão. Em termos gerais, isto significa que os Mission Parameters são a linha orientadora para a aventura ou campanha, e que por muito que ela se desvie por intervenção dos jogadores, estes Parameters devem ser cumpridos.

Os Mission Parameters deverão seguir sempre uma linha orientadora que respeite as opções que os jogadores tomam aquando do Briefing; Chios pode já ter algo delineado à partida, mas deverá adaptá-lo conforme as forças e fraquezas dos Operatives.

Os jogadores podem também sugerir alterações aos Mission Operatives, uma vez que vai ser dentro deles que vão actuar.

Exemplo:

Para a Missão que preparou para os jogadores, Manuel apresenta os seguintes Mission Parameters: várias empresas estão a comercializar produtos que quando usados em conjunto podem matar o seu utilizador, e é sabido que apenas o extracto social mais baixo da sociedade os utiliza. Os Operatives devem assim descobrir que empresas e produtos são esses e expô-las ou terminá-las. De seguida devem tentar descobrir quem as controla, se alguém ou alguma coisa efectivamente o faz.

Isto conclui a criação de personagens, chamada Briefing.

Cada jogador tem o seu Operative e sabe quais são os Mission Parameters, podendo começar a jogar de imediato.

The 101 - 02 - How to do stuff, Operative style

Quando um Operative tentar fazer alguma coisa para a qual o resultado final não seja previsível, ctal como conduzir um carro a 150kmh através de uma rua em hora de ponta sem bater em ninguém, então um lançamento de dados é necessário. O Operative deve descrever a acção exactamente como quer que ela aconteça, e seguidamente deve lançar os dados. Chios pode ajudar na decisão de que Motivation escolher, ou se alguma das Motivations é apropriada ou não.

Todos os Operatives têm inicialmente um dado de 6 faces, também chamado 1d6, para tentar qualquer tipo de acção. Se a acção que estão a tentar está incluída na esfera de influência de uma das suas Motivations, então lançam mais um dado, ou 2d6. Se for da sua Essential Motivation, então lançam ainda mais um dado, ou 3d6.

Se pelo menos um dado for igual ou inferior ao seu Cool Factor, então a acção resultou exactamente como o jogador a descreveu. Se nenhum dado for igual ou inferior, a acção falhou e Chios deverá descrever os resultados.

Exemplos:

Inês, jogando Peony com um Cool Factor de 4, quer intimidar uns mooks a afastar-se, para não ter de lutar com eles. Ela usa a sua Motivation de Sarcastic Bitch para fazer alguns comentários que até os fazem suar. Inês deve então rolar 2d6 para esse efeito. Se pelo menos um dos dados for igual ou inferior ao seu Cool Factor, neste caso 4 ou menos, então os mooks afastam-se, enquanto limpam suores frios da testa.

João, a ocontrolar o Operative Johnson com um Cool Factor de 3, diz que Johnson vai usar a sua Motivation de Computer Wiz para aceder aos computadores da Williams Corporation; João pode lançar 3d6 para aceder aos computadores, uma vez que está a usar a sua Essential Motivation. Se algum desses dados sair 3 ou menos, então Johnson consegue aceder aos computadores e possivelmente a todos os dados da Williams Corporation.

Se a acção que estão a tentar pertencer à esfera de influência do seu Background, então o resultado do dado deverá ser inferior ao Cool Factor.

Exemplo:

Tiago está a ver o seu Operative, Bosou, com um Cool Factor de 5, rodeado de zombies. Bosou é animado por duas almas, e uma das suas Motivations é Spirit Knowledge, por isso Tiago acha que pode usar essa Motivation para descobrir se algum tipo de espírito está a fazer os mortos voltarem à vida. Chios diz que ele pode realmente usar o seu Spirit Knowledge, o que lhe dá 2 dados, mas que isso também faz o seu Background entrar em acção. Ele vai lançar os 2 dados, mas estes têm que sair 4 ou menos, devido ao seu Background.

Being Cool

O jogador pode descrever as acções do seu Operative de duas maneiras: a maneira normal, e a maneira Cool.

Na maneira normal o jogador simplesmente declara o que quer fazer e resolve as suas acções de modo normal.

Embora não haja nada de errado nisto, é muito mais interessante se a acção for descrita de modo a que toda a gente consiga imaginar precisamente aquilo que o jogador tem em mente. Para isso, ele pode descrever a acção dizendo de que maneira fica o seu corpo enquanto age, de que maneira o ambiente é afectado, de que maneira fala, de que maneira inclina a cabeça, ou qualquer outra coisa que o jogador se lembre e que faça com que a acção seja muito mais cinemática e apelativa do que simplesmente dizer "eu dou-lhe um soco". Isto é a maneira Cool e é muito mais excitante para toda a gente envolvida.

Se o que o jogador descrever fizer toda a gente na mesa gritar "Woah, isso é Cool!", então o seu Cool Factor sobe automaticamente 1 ponto, quer o que o jogador descreve aconteça ou não. Os dados são lançados depois do eventual ajustamento do Cool Factor. Se isto fizer o seu Cool factor subir acima de 5, então ele é automaticamente ajustado a 5.

Isto acontece porque os Operatives são as pessoas mais Cool à face da Terra e não suportam fazer algo de maneira simples.

Exemplo:

Voltando ao exemplo de Peony e os seus mooks. Se Inês, em vez de apenas dizer: "Peony faz com que eles se afastem com suores frios e para isso usa a sua Motivation de Sarcastic Bitch", disser: "Peony guarda as suas Uzi enquanto se vira para eles mostrando um pouco do seu corpo, escultural mas letal, coberto de couro negro, ao mesmo tempo que inclina a cabeça e diz, no seu tom de voz mais inocente 'Sabem, há mais de mil maneiras para vos matar só com as minhas mãos..'", o que é reconhecidamente muito mais Cool, então o seu Cool Factor subirá para 5 e a acção de intimidação é muito mais fácil. Inês deve agora rolar 2 dados (1 normal mais 1 da Motivation), e rolar abaixo ou igual a 5, para conseguir com que os mooks se afastem em suores frios.

Complications

Na maior parte das vezes, apenas um sucesso nos dados bastará para que a acção seja bem sucedida e decorra como o Operative a descreve.

No entanto, há ocasiões onde é necessário contabilizar os sucessos obtidos para que a acção seja bem sucedida.

Há três casos distintos que fazem com que saber quantos sucessos se obteve seja essencial:

Acções que demoram tempo

Chios pode determinar que a acção descrita demora mais tempo, seja para fazer suar o Operative, seja porque a própria descrição da acção assim o determina. Neste caso, devem lançar-se os dados até se obter o número de sucessos requerido por Chios, sendo que cada lançamento do dado é equivalente a uma quantidade de tempo a passar.

Exemplo:

Tiago, jogando Bosou com um Cool Factor de 5, deseja seduzir uma rapariga num bar para lhe extorquir informações. Chios determina que ele deve usar a sua Motivation de Cinematically Attractive e conseguir pelo menos 4 sucessos para ser bem sucedido. Chios determina também que cada lançamento dos dados equivale a 5 minutos. Tiago lança os dados uma vez e consegue 2 sucessos, o que não é suficiente, por isso vai lançá-los novamente, conseguindo desta vez apenas 1 sucesso, o que ainda não é suficiente pois ainda não chegou a 4 sucessos, por isso lança-os uma terceira vez, conseguindo mais 1 sucesso, e desta vez consegue o total de 4 sucessos que Chios lhe exigiu. Como Tiago lançou 3 vezes os dados, Chios declara que Bosou gastou 15 minutos para tentar seduzir a rapariga.

Acções opostas

Quando um jogador tentar alguma acção que possa ser activamente impedida por outro jogador ou NPC, então os dados são lançados e quem tiver mais sucessos ganha e consegue a sua acção. Em caso de empate, devem continuar a rolar-se dados até se chegar a uma situação clara de victória.

Exemplo:

João, jogando Johnson com um Cool Factor de 3, está a tentar conduzir um carro usando o seu Ultimate Cellphone para o controlar remotamente, ao mesmo tempo que tenta evadir-se de alguns mooks que o perseguem de moto. Ele rola 2 dados e  Chios rola 1 dado para os mooks, usando as suas Motivations de Bike e o seu baixo Cool Factor de 2. João vê que é dificil para ele com o seu baixo Cool Factor de conseguir, por isso descreve a sua acção dizendo que usa o passeio para pôr o carro em duas rodas. Chios e os outros jogadores acham isso Cool e o seu Cool Factor sobe para 4. Ele rola os 2 dados conseguindo 1 sucesso e os mooks não conseguem nenhum sucesso, por isso ele consegue escapar-se pela cidade...

Acções realmente difíceis

Finalmente, o Operative pode encontrar-se face a um obstáculo que até para ele é dificil, e Chios neste caso deve pedir-lhe que obtenha mais sucessos que o habitual. Embora aquilo que seja difícil para um humano normal não é exactamente complicado para um Operative, ainda assim há acções que os fazem suar. Uma simples regra pode ser usada para determinar a dificuldade, onde 1 sucesso é uma acção normal, 2 sucessos é uma acção dificil e 3 é uma acção realmente complicada.

Exemplo:

No exemplo de Peony e os mooks, Chios pode determinar que os mooks não são facilmente impressionáveis, exigindo 2 sucessos no lançamento de dados para a sua Motivation de Sarcastic Bitch. Chios lança os dados, e consegue os 2 sucessos exigidos. Os mooks afastam-se dela, com suores frios.

Todas estas complicações podem ainda ser combinadas, se a acção assim o exigir.

Exemplo:

Enquanto tentava entrar nos computadores da Williams Corporation, Johnson descobre que um programa de tracing foi activado para detectar a sua localização, pondo assim em risco toda a operação. Chios diz que esta é uma acção demorada, mas também oposta, exigindo assim que Johnson obtenha 4 sucessos primeiro que o programa de tracing; se não conseguir, o programa vai conseguir localizá-lo.

Os Operatives operam sozinhos, na sua maior parte, mas é perfeitamente normal que Chios chame 2 ou mais Operadores ao mesmo tempo para uma missão. Nestas ocasiões pode acontecer um Operador pedir ajuda para uma tarefa que o faça suar, de modo a torná-la mais fácil. Seja algo da sua competência, seja em combate.

Mecânicamente, isto resolve-se baixando a Dificuldade por cada Operative que ajudar o primeiro, se as Motivations forem compatíveis, sendo Chios o árbitro nas diferenças,lançando os dados o Operative que pedir ajuda.

Exemplo:

No exemplo de Peony e os empregados da Williams Corporation, se ela estivesse em campo aberto e rodeada de mooks, com um limite de tempo para passar por eles, podia pedir ajuda a Bosou, que usaria a sua Motivation de Kick Ass Bastard. A Dificuldade baixaria de 3 para 2, pelo número de mooks e local da batalha, e Peony rolaria os dados para a nova, e mais acessível, Dificuldade.

Aqui termina perto de 75% das regras de The 101 RPG; como será fácil de perceber, o jogo é extremamente fácil de compreender após uma primeira leitura, e é dado a descrições muito cinemáticas e over-the-top. Quando puder, vou postar o combate e uma mecânica muito gira chamada The Cool State. Fiquem atentos!

The 101 - 03 - Kicking All Sorts of Ass and Taking Names

O Combate é um tipo especial de acção onde duas ou mais pessoas estão activamente a tentar partir a cara uma à outra. No mundo violento onde opera o 101, esta é também uma das mais fáceis maneiras de resolver problemas.

Este tipo de acção pode vir de Mooks ou de Adversaries.

Mooks são aqueles inimigos que entram às centenas pelo ecrâ adentro, são os personagens sem nome que muitas vezes têm apenas uma função na vida, que é ajudar o Operative a parecer Cool. Eles morrem ou são postos fora de acção tão depressa como conseguem ler esta frase. Podem ser robots, ninja, homens-lagarto, empregados de limpeza, ou tudo o que passar pela cabeça doentia de Chios. E são sempre muitos.

Mecânicamente, Chios descreve a quantidade e o tipo de Mooks que há em cena, designando uma dificuldade, e o Operative escolhe uma Motivation apropriada para os combater, tornando assim o combate um simples à sua Motivation baseado em acções demoradas e dificeis. O Operative deve lançar os dados até obter os sucessos pretendidos por Chios, e a cada lançamento de dados vai correspoder uma troca de tiros, um soco, um corte de espadas, ou tudo aquilo que o Operative e Chios concordarem que é. Por cada lançamento de dados que o Operative não consiga alcançar sucessos, o seu Cool Factor desce por 1, a menos que a acção descrita seja Cool o suficiente para o manter, e tanto o Operative como Chios podem descrever o resultado deste falhanço.

Exemplo:

Peony não conseguiu afastar os vários Mooks, todos empregados da Williams Corporation, que se vêm assim frente a frente com ela. Eles olham uns para os outros, notam que são muito superiores em número, e, com um aceno de cabeça, atacam! Peony corre para o meio deles com as suas Twin Uzi, metralhando-os cirurgicamente ao rodar o corpo e usando o elevado número como escudo e como plataforma para saltar no ar e continuar a metralhar.

Chios designa uma Dificuldade de 2 para este combate, uma vez que são muitos Mooks e estão bem armados. Os sacanas da Wiliams Corporation tratam bem os seus empregados! Peony, com a sua descrição muito Cool, eleva o seu Cool Factor para 5, e usa 2 dados para metralhar os Mooks. Inês lança os dados e tira 6 e 6, um azar tremendo que não lhe valeu nenhum sucesso! Na história, isto pode significar que um deles conseguiu acertar-lhe! Chios diz que, quando ela tentava usar a perna de um como apoio para saltar ele desviou-se um pouco e acertou-lhe à queimar roupa! O seu Cool Factor desce para 4. Ela deve lançar novamente os dados, e pode escolher descrever a acção de maneira Cool de modo a fazer subir o seu Cool Factor. Para apressar o combate, ela resolve apenas lançar os dados e confiar na sorte, que desta vez lhe sorriu, tirando 3 e 4, que são os 2 sucessos necessários. Todos os Mooks estão mortos no chão, buracos fumegantes saíndo dos seus corpos dispostos em círculo à volta de Peony...

Adversaries são o equivalente do Operative, mas do outro lado da linha moral. Eles podem ser tão bem treinados como um Operative, ou mais ainda, ter mais ou melhor equipamento e/ou recursos, e ser uma verdadeira dor nas partes baixas.

Mecânicamente, combater um Adversary é o mesmo que ter uma acção oposta, com uma pequena mas muito importante diferença: o combate só termina quando um dos oponentes estiver morto no chão frio. Isto é conseguido trocando golpes entre o Operative e o Adversary, lançando os dados à vez e comparando os resultados: o que tiver mais sucessos subtrai deles os sucessos do openente, inflingindo o restante em dano ao seu Cool Factor! Ninguém gosta de um perdedor! Quando o Cool Factor for 1, ou se por acaso descer abaixo de 1, isso significa que o perdedor está em maus lençóis. Ele pode estar morto, a sangrar até à morte, inconsciente, preso, ou o que Chios e o Operative concordarem nessa ocasião. O importante a reter é que o perdedor fica fora de acção durante uns tempos e está em grandes sarilhos.

Todos os resultados devem ser descritos tanto pelo Operative como por Chios.

Á boa maneira cinematográfica, a qualquer altura os oponentes podem fazer um ataque que não seja físico e que desperte o Background do seu adversário, escolhendo tanto Chios como os Operatives a melhor Motivation a usar, se houve alguma aplicável. Isto também conta como uma acção oposta, e quem tiver mais sucessos ganha, fazendo activar o Background do perdedor, em vez de lhe baixar o Cool Factor. Muitas vezes este ataque vem na forma de algum comentário ou insulto, o que só acrescenta à Coolness da cena. E, claro, se os restantes jogadores e Chios acharem que isso é merecedor, o Cool Factor do oponente que fizer este ataque também sobe.

Exemplo:

Depois de derrotar os seguranças da Williams Corporation, Peony vê-se frente a frente com Jeremiah Cane, o Presidente do Conselho de Administração da empresa, impecavelmente vestido no seu Armani branco, com uma bengala na sua mão direita, e que é imortal devido às experiências de uma das suas empresas subsidiárias de Nova Dheli em desalojados. Ambos sabem porque estão ali e nenhum deles deseja voltar atrás.

Peony corre para ele abrindo fogo, mas ele mexe-se com uma velocidade sobre humana e, ao mesmo tempo que se desvia para a direita e se aproxima, desembaínha uma espada da sua bengala. Saltando, ele lança um feroz ataque à Operative.

Peony tem um Cool Factor de 4, e Jeremiah Cane tem um Cool Factor de 5. Esta será uma luta que nenhum deles irá esquecer.

Inês decidiu usar as suas Twin Uzi, mas não contava com a velocidade de Cane. Ela rola os dados, obtendo 2 sucessos, e Chios rola os dados por Cane, obtendo também 2 sucessos na sua Motivation Imortal Fighter, o que significa que nenhum deles conseguiu um golpe.

Peony resolve aproveitar a distância encurtada por Cane para lhe lançar um violento pontapé; ele está desequilibrado devido ao golpe falhado e tenta sem sucesos defender-se.

Inês muda de táctica, ela sabe que pode aproveitar o facto de Peony ser melhor lutadora que Cane, e usa agora 3 dados da sua Essential Motivation Unhumanly Strong. Lançando os dados, ela obtém 3 sucessos, e Cane apenas 2, o que reduz o seu Cool Factor para 4, pondo-os em pé de igualdade.

Pressionando a sua vantagem, Peony salta sobre o caído Cane, que tenta sem sucesso aparar o golpe com a sua espada.

Inês lança novamente os dados, tirando 2 sucessos; Cane tem agora o seu Cool Factor mais baixo, e consegue apenas 1, o que reduz ainda mais o seu Cool Factor para 3.

Cane está em maus lençóis, pois enfrenta alguém que o pode derrotar e tirar do poder. A sua defesa não foi bem sucedida, e ele tem agora por cima de si uma Operative que espuma de raiva. Ele tenta rolar de debaixo dela e dar-lhe uma forte estocada com a sua espada. Peony salta quando vê Cane mexer-se, dá um mortal para trás ao mesmo tempo que lhe pontapeia o queixo.

Inês rola novamente os dados, tirando 1 sucesso, enquanto Chios, jogando Cane, não consegue nenhum. O Cool Factor de Cane é reduzido para 2.

Cane é projectado para trás com a força do golpe. Limpando o sangue da boca, ele tenta um truque sujo: "És tu a Peony, certo? Tu não és humana, pois não? Tu és mais extra-terrestre que outra coisa... eu sabia que nenhum humano me poderia derrotar!" Peony fica petrificada com isto, enquanto Cane se levanta e parece literalmente crescer à sua frente.

Chios decide que Peony não tem nenhuma Motivation que lhe permita resistir a isto, enquanto Cane rola os dados para a sua Motivation Dark Secrets, obtendo 1 sucesso, o suficiente para activar o Background de Peony e, como decidido por Chios pela Coolness do discurso, aumentar o seu Cool Factor para 3.

Peony tenta lançar um furioso conjunto de ataques a Cane, e este não faz mais do que desviar-se, aparando os golpes.

Inês lança os dados, e consegue apenas 1 sucesso, mas mesmo assim ainda é mais do que os 0 sucessos de Cane, o que lhe baixa o Cool Factor de volta a 2.

"Posso não ser humana, mas não sou nenhum bastardo assassino de crianças inocentes!", diz Peony, ao mesmo tempo que agarra nos cabelos de Cane e lhe parte a cabeça contra a parede. Cane tenta aparar o golpe com os braços, mas sem sucesso.

Inês lança novamente os dados, obtendo 3 sucessos, que contra o único sucesso de Cane é suficiente para lhe reduzir o Cool Factor a 0. Cane não está morto, mas os seus dias à frente da Williams Corportation estão acabados.

The 101 - 04 - The Cool State

Há alturas em que a história muda da 3ª para a 1ª pessoa, envolvendo pessoalmente o ouvinte na história ao mudar para um tom mais próximo e intimista.

Há momentos onde se lembram pequenas histórias de crescimento do personagem, flashbacks, um recontar na 3ª pessoa, ou mesmo algo premonitório para a acção, e que são vistas a preto-e-branco ou de um modo ligeiramente desfocado.

Há ocasiões em que o tempo parece parar e a acção irrompe pelos nossos sentidos, a música parece ficar mais alta, e todos os intervenientes e objectos ficam mais nítidos, mostrando todas as suas capacidades, onde a audiência abre a boca e diz "Woah, isso é Cool!"

A isto chamamos The Cool State.

Mecânicamente, o Cool State é muito fácil de resolver: o jogador gasta um ponto do seu Cool Factor e toma conta da acção. Ele pode usar isto para ganhar um combate que tivesse acabado de perder, para avançar a história para uma parte onde descubra algo sobre o que está a investigar, para contar algo sobre si, para se meter em sarilhos, o que desejar. Ele até pode influenciar as acções dos outros Operatives, contando algo sobre eles, ou deslocando a acção para os colocar a eles em sarilhos.

Existem algumas regras, no entanto, que são menos de mecânica e mais de contenção no tema do The 101:

-A narrativa do Cool State deve sempre obedecer aos Mission Parameters e ficar dentro dos seus limites, embora possa deixar fios soltos para possíveis missões
-A narrativa deve sempre mostar o Operative num meio Cool: mesmo que sirva para mostrar o momento onde ele morre, ou onde finalmente encontra o seu aqui-inimigo, ou onde descobre a peça de informação vital, ou onde conta uma história da sua infância, o momento descritivo deve ser sempre o mais Cool possível
-A descrição do Cool Factor de cada Operative deve arbtitrar o julgamento do que é Cool e do que não é: o que é Cool num Operative pode não ser Cool no outro, por isso não será de esperar que um Operative que seja dedicado a investigação electrónica tenha regularmente momentos onde dá cabo de 30 mooks, embora se o fizer, isso conta como uma altura "Woah, isso é Cool!"
-A narrativa não deve ser usada para derrotar um Adversary, mas se o Operative assim quiser, pode gastar 2 pontos do seu Cool Factor, e descrever a acção, pondo-a a julgamento do grupo e de Chios: se a acção não for suficientemente Cool, de modo a deixar toda a gente de boca aberta, então as coisas não correram como o Operative julgava, e cabe ao grupo decidir o que aconteceu

O único limite ao número de vezes que um Operative pode entrar no Cool State e tomar conta das descrições é o número do seu Cool Factor, e mesmo este pode ser infinito se o jogador descrever todas as suas acções de uma maneira Cool.

Exemplos:

Num exemplo anterior encontrámos o Operative Bosou rodeado de zombies; Tiago, o seu jogador, poderia ter lançado os dados para perceber que tipo de espirito, se algum, os animava, ou poderia ter gasto um ponto do seu Cool Factor para fazer avançar a história até um ponto em que ele percebia o que se passava, e poderia ser descrito desta maneira: Bosou, rodeado de zombies, chama a energia interna do espirito que o habita, o espirito guerreiro, o Loa Bosou Koblamin; isto é arriscado, pois chamar o Loa faz com que o Operative perca o controle das suas acções a um certo nível, mas permite-lhe olhar para os mortos-vivos com olhos que não os seus, e ver assim a aura. Um grito de raiva sai da sua garganta, um grito inumano, que o próprio Operative não reconhece, embora intimamente saiba que é da sua voz, e o Loa solta-se de qualquer corrente física, atacando todos os zombies. Pois ele reconheceu a aura que os animava, e era do feiticeiro Papa Madichon, seu inimigo de longa data...

Num exemplo anterior, a Operative Peony enfrentava vários mooks; Inês, a sua jogadora, escolheu na altura rolar a sua Motivation de Sarcastic Bitch para os forçar a fugir com medo, mas ela poderia também ter gasto um ponto do seu Cool Factor para fazer avançar a acção e encontrar o seu arqui-inimigo, Jeremiah Cane, descrevendo a acção mais ou menos desta maneira: Peony, rodeada de empregados da Williams Corporation, não perde muito tempo com eles. vançando para eles numa corrida rápida e curta, ela saca das suas Twin Uzi, apoia-se no joelho de um deles para saltar no ar, rodopiar horizontalmente por cima das suas cabeças, e descarregar certeiramente o carregador no olho esquerdo de cada um. Quando cai de pé, felina, todos os empregados estão com buracos de bala fumegantes. Na porta, à sua espera, está Jeremiah Cane. A verdadeira acção vai começar...

Num exemplo anterior, encontrámos o Operative Johnson às voltas com as passwords para as bases de dados da Williams Corporation. Enquanto que João, o seu jogador, escolheu rolar a sua Motivation Computer Wizz, ele poderia do mesmo modo ter gasto um ponto de Cool Factor e descrever a acção da seguinte maneira: Johnson está a suar para obter as passwords que lhe permitem entrar nas bases de dados, sabendo que tem um programa de tracing a postos para o apanhar. Ele carrega furiosamente nas teclas, como se isso fosse suficiente para se despachar, quando ouve vozes lá fora. Como se não bastasse, os sacanas dos policias ainda ameaçam parar-lhe o trabalho. Ao mesmo tempo que procura as combinações que lhe podem dar a password, activa o seu Ultimate Cellphone para por o carro em andamento, dando assim impressão que se pos em fuga pela cidade, e comprando-lhe mais tempo para procurar. Ao mesmo tempo que as vozes parecem afastar-se, uma luz vermelha pisca cada vez mais luminosa, alertando para a proximidade do programa. Lá fora, a perseguição tem inicio, e Johnson agora é obrigado a dividir a sua atenção entre controlar o carro e escapar ao virus ao mesmo tempo que procura as passwords. Como o verdadeiro Computer Wizz que é, ele consegue encontrar e usar as passwords imediatamente antes do programa o encontrar.

Qualquer destes exemplos poderia ir noutra direcção, se assim o Operative o quisesse. Bosou Koblamin poderia não reconhecer os espiritos, poderia não haver espiritos, ele poderia não ter ficado irritado. Peony poderia ter ficado ferida, poderia ter perdido a batalha contra os mooks de maneira inglória, ou o seu arqui-inimigo poderia não ter chegado. Johnson poderia ter escolhido ser apanhado pela policia, ser detectado pelo programa, ou ver o seu carro capotar. Qualquer uma destas escolhas teria sido boa, já que é a escolha do jogador e obedece às Mission Parameters iniciais, e, claro, se fosse descrita de maneira Cool.

The 101 - 05 - Being an Operative of the 101

Ethan Hunt, James Bond, Jason Bourne, Frank Martin, John Constantine, Neo, nomes sobejamente conhecidos, e no entanto com poucas possibilidades de ser material de 101.

O 101 recruta apenas os melhores dos melhores, aqueles que se distinguem e excelem no seu campo de preferência, tanto pelo estudo aplicado das suas competências como por uma aptidão natural para as mesmas. Um Operative do 101 é o melhor, sendo apenas igualado por outro Operative. O Operative do 101 reconhece também o valor de trabalhar em equipa para atingir um fim comum, por isso quando e se as premissas de Chios o colocam no campo com outros Operatives, ele põe imediatamente de parte qualquer ego ou personalidade para o bem da missão. O Operative do 101, sendo o ser mais Cool à face da Terra, sabe quando ser Cool sozinho e quando ser Cool em grupo - para ele, a Missão está primeiro.

O Operative está acima da lei, mas isso não o impede de a respeitar, quando isso o beneficiar. O Operative do 101 defende o Planeta das ameaças ao status quo e não se deixa limitar por conceitos como lei, ordem ou compaixão.

O Operative sabe também que o anterior é uma pilha de mentiras vendidas no Manual, destinadas a impressionar os jovens Operatives. Na verdade, nenhum deles alguma vez deixou de imprimir o seu cunho pessoal na Missão, ou implicou com um parceiro, tendo mesmo degenerado em confronto físico, ou saíu do seu caminho para ajudar vários inocentes, deixando escapar a presa no processo. O Operative, mesmo que não seja humano, luta por esse sentimento que lhe escapa ao cumprir missões atrás de missões para esconder a verdade e mentir ao Mundo, e não é desconhecido o Operative que, armado do conhecimento que trabalhar nesta organização lhe deu, abandonou o 101 para expor a verdade. Ser confrontado diariamente com curas para todas as doenças que não são distribuidas, com armas de despopulação posicionadas sobre todas as grandes cidades, com a verdadeira religião escondida pela religião do público, ou com a verdadeira história a ser re-escrita pelas vontades de alguns e nada ser feito contra isso, é muito árduo fisica e psicologicamente, e nem todos conseguem chegar ao fim do dia de consciência tranquila e com o dever de um trabalho bem feito.

Jogar um Operative, no entanto, pode ser das coisas mais divertidas em RPG: é uma pessoa Cool, com poderes e abilidades que o distinguem do comum dos mortais, e lida diariamente com a Verdade Escondida, e não tem medo de lhe dar um pontapé na cara se a isso for obrigado.

Alguns apontamentos são necessários para melhor perceber o estilo de jogo de The 101 RPG:

-Tudo é Cool

Todas as acções do jogador devem reflectir o facto de estar a jogar um ser terrivelmente Cool, mais Cool do que em qualquer filme, livro, ou comic book existente, e deve sempre descrevê-lo assim; sempre, ou se isso não for possível, a maior parte das vezes. O jogo é extremamente visual e gráfico, e todos à mesa ficam a ganhar se esta instrucção for cumprida. Algumas dicas para tornar o jogo mais gráfico são: envolver elementos de cenário ou ambiente na descrição, envolver linhas de pensamento do personagem, envolver o que se espera, envolver onomatopeias.

-O Operative tem o controlo

Ao contrário da maior parte dos jogos comerciais disponíveis, este é um jogo onde o jogador realmente tem poder sobre a narrativa, não estando limitado a descrever as suas acções pelo resultado dos dados, pois as regras do jogo apoiam a intervenção activa do jogador: em vez de esperar passivamente que o GM lhe passe a vez, ele pode simplesmente gastar um dos seus pontos de Cool Factor e tomar conta do jogo, inclusivé usando isso para se colocar numa posição menos favorável - se isso for Cool, obviamente. Outros possíveis usos são os já apontados: ganhar um combate, avançar a história, mostrar um flashback ou memória, seu ou de outro Operative; se desejar, até de um Adversary!

Seguir estas regras é estar no melhor caminho para se tomar o melhor proveito do jogo.

The 101 - 06 - Chios

Chios é o mais especial de todos os Operatives, pois representa não uma pessoa, mas várias, espalhadas pelo mundo. Quando o 101 necessita de contactar algum agente, toda a informação sobre a missão é enviada para o Operative com as caracteristícas de Chios mais perto do local da missão, de modo a facilitar todo o processo de logística e selecção de agentes. Por isso, quando os Operatives são contactados, a voz do outro lado raramente é a mesma. Chios pode ser o empregado da Microsoft a trabalhar em horas extraordinárias, o hacker que acabou de entrar nos arquivos do FBI, ou qualquer outro aspecto interessante. Se a Missão for importante o suficiente, Chios até pode ser mais que uma pessoa!

O papel de Chios em jogo assume três facetas que se completam, apesar de distintas, porque há três níveis que devem ser considerados, e que são o nível do jogador, do Operative, e do Mundo.

Ao nível do jogador, as funções de Chios são fáceis. Ele deve ajudar o jogador na compreensão das regras, e garantir que cada intervenção do jogador está dentro dos Mission Parameters estabelecidos, ou, se não estiver, que garanta uma linha para uma outra missão. Isto é particularmente verdade para quando o jogador escolhe entrar no Cool State, onde tem particular poder sobre a história. Ele deve também garantir que o jogo tem poucos, ou de preferência nenhuns, tempos mortos, constantemente atirando dilemas e desafios aos jogadores, seja na forma de puzzles na história, seja usando os Millstones dos Operatives, seja lançando uma cena de acção quando tudo o resto parecer falhar. 100 Mooks armados são sempre uma boa forma para levantar os espíritos. Principalmente se não houver nenhuma pista sobre a sua origem.

Ao nível do Operative, as funções de Chios mudam ligeiramente. Agora ele deve ser mais personagem e menos director, falando com um tom de voz distinto, adoptando um head-set para passar a ideia que está ao telefone ao mesmo tempo que opera um, ou mais!, computador, ou qualquer outro aspecto que ache interessante e dentro do tema do jogo. A ideia aqui é fazer passar a imagem de alguém distante, mas que pode ao mesmo tempo estar permanentemente em contacto com os Operatives, enviando-lhes informações sobre a Missão, possíveis Adversaries, etc. Sempre que possível, Chios deve confrontar os Operatives com dilemas que façam disparar os seus Millstones, e integrá-los na Missão. Deve também, sempre que possível, fazer passar dilemas morais para colocar aos Operatives.

Afinal de contas, eles lutam diariamente para esconder do público coisas que fariam o leite coalhar, e este é um trabalho que não deve nunca ser fácil. A opção entre fazer cumprir a Missão e entregar a um jornal os resultados da mesma deve estar sempre presente. Outro aspecto que pode ser considerado no jogo é o da natureza solitária dos Operatives. Como é que eles se dão a trabalhar com outros Operatives, tão Cool quanto eles? Trabalham bem, mal? Tornam-se amigos, ou são mortos pela escolha errada? Este tipo de dilemas deve também estar presente em jogo. O jogo pode ainda ter uma camada de paranóia. Qualquer jogo fica bem com uma camada de paranóia. Só porque não se consegue vê-los, não significa que não andem atrás de nós.

E finalmente a nível do Mundo, as funções de Chios são radicalmente diferentes. Aqui Chios é os olhos e ouvidos dos Operatives, é a pessoa na rua que lhes dá direcções quando estão perdidos, é o esquadrão da morte que se lhes opõe, é o Adversary que faz gelar o sangue. Mas não só, esta é apenas a parte aparente do trabalho. Chios deve também definir uma linha temporal de acções para os planos do Adversary, empresa ou tema geral da Missão, e planear o que aconteceria se não houvesse intervenção dos Operatives. Esta é a melhor maneira de planear uma Missão, uma vez que os jogadores vão ter poder suficiente para dar cabo de qualquer plano bem delineado. Chios deve também ter um bom conhecimento da História Secreta do Mundo, que pode ser apanhado em qualquer tablóide ou site dedicado ao tema, para poder apresentar Missões interessantes aos seus jogadores. Há vários sites de interesse que podem ser utilizados para este objectivo, e os seus conteúdos variam desde a mais pura Teoria de Conspiração (por exemplo, o que realmente aconteceu no 11 de Setembro?), até a eventos estranhos na História que nunca foram explicados, ou sobre os quais ainda há dúvidas e crescem lendas ao lado da História (por exemplo, existiu mesmo um Santo Graal?), até ao quotidiano bizarro que adorna as páginas dos jornais nas bancas (por exemplo, porque é que existem tantas histórias sobre a morte de Elvis?). Não é necessário que todas estas histórias estejam ligadas entre si, mas certamente se estiverem, isso não será por acaso. Um dos presidentes americanos mais paranóicos de sempre, Franklin Roosevelt, disse sabiamente: nada acontece por acaso; se assim parece, é porque foi feito para acontecer.

The 101 - 07 - The Dillema

Nota: esta parte das regras é a minha sugestão simples e elegante para integrar uma mecânica Narrativista no meio de um jogo Simulacionista, ao mesmo tempo que desenvolve o personagem. Estou muito satisfeito com ela.

Esta mecânica deveria surgir antes das partes sobre Being an Operative e Chios, mas só agora a escrevi, depois de pensar bem sobre ela; como o jogo é mais SIM que NAR, isto não me chateia particularmente. Julgo que o jogo não perde em ter esta mecânica aqui.

Estou a escrever a verão 0.2 do jogo, com mais descrições, exemplos, melhorias na escrita, e com maior integração dos atributos nas mecânicas, envolvendo ainda mais as Motivation e os Millstone no âmago do Operative; nenhuma regra será alterada ou acrescentada, a revisão surge apenas para tornar o jogo mais atraente; darei também exemplos da História Secreta e da maneira como ela é mantida secreta pelo 101, assim como falarei mais sobre o próprio 101 a nível de organização. A versão 0.2 terá apenas termos em Português, que estou a traduzir agora.

Já agora, Milestone significa Marco, e Millstone significa Fardo. ;)

Espero que estejam a gostar do jogo tanto quanto eu. :)

O 101 é sobre Operatives ultra-cool, homens e mulheres que são escolhidos por ser os melhores dos melhores no seu campo de eleição, sempre os que ficam de pé quando a bomba rebenta e tudo voa à sua volta, mas ainda assim terrivelmente humanos por dentro, com dúvidas, desejos, e anseios. Se a bomba rebenta num orfanato em Luanda que alberga um laboratório de experiências em humanos, matando dezenas de crianças inocentes no processo, isso poderá fazer com que o Operative fique de pé a observar, enquanto uma lágrima lhe escorre pela cara.

Para representar isto, existe uma mecânica muito simples chamada The Dillema.

O Dillema acontece quando uma escolha dificil se mete no caminho do Agente. Não uma escolha sobre que caminho seguir num dado momento, mas algo que despolete o seu lado humano e o faça esquecer por momentos a razão de ser um Operative do 101.

Em última instância, o Dillema será sempre sobre a escolha moral que o Agente enfrenta no decorrer da sua missão, e enfrentar as consequências dessa escolha.

Se o Operative for encarregado de resgatar turistas de uma zona de desastre ambiental, a sua moralidade pode fazê-lo levar consigo uma das crianças na área. Se levar uma das crianças, pode ficar a pensar que poderia ter levado mais. Ao levar mais, pode comprometer a missão.

Se o Operative levar uma das crianças consigo, outro Agente poderá ver que ele está a comprometer a Missão, e agir sobre isso. Ou não. Se agir, poderá estar a ir contra um amigo, se não agir, estará a ir contra a organização.

Este é o tipo de escolhas que vai esbarrar no caminho do Operative.

Os Dillema podem ser criados por Chios no decorrer da Missão, podem ser sugeridos pelos jogadores, ou podem ocorrer entre Operatives, mas o decorrer da acção de jogo não deverá ser parada pelo desafio. O 101 é um jogo de acção intensa, e não deverá ter tempos mortos. E, acima de tudo, deverá ser cool! Na maior parte das vezes será Chios a sugerir, na presença de escolhas que compromentam a acção e o envolvam pessoalmente ao apelarem a uma duas suas Motivation ou Millstone.

Mecânicamente, o Dillema deverá usar uma das Motivations ou Millstone do Agente; a mesma mecânica que para uma acção normal é usada, e em caso de sucesso com o uso de uma Motivation o jogador pode descrever a acção, tal como no Cool State, gastando um ponto de Cool Factor para o fazer. Se usar um dos Millstone, só poderá descrever a acção se não tiver nenhum sucesso, mas se descrever, terá que gastar o Cool Factor na mesma. Esta mecânica pretende que o Cool Factor seja variável durante o jogo, para que os jogadores estejam sempre o mais Cool possível.

O Dillema é também a oportunidade para o Operative crescer como pessoa, ao acrescentar novos propósitos para continuar a lutar, novo equpamento, novos contactos, ou ainda novas coisas que o impeçam! Tudo é escolha, e deve ser Cool ao máximo!

Isto acontece porque por vezes um Dillema surge que não apela a nenhuma das Motivations ou Millstone do Operative, mas que existe na mesma. Neste caso, resolvido o Dillema, o Operative pode acrescentar à sua folha a descrição correspondente à Motivation ou Millstone que deseja ter e que usou para ultrapassar o Dillema, mantendo um equilibrio de 3 Motivation para 1 Millstone.

Ou seja, em cada Missão Chios dará oportunidade ao Operative de se tornar mais forte e mais capaz, mas também mais humano, e portanto ainda mais Cool.

The 101 - 08 - Playtest

Ok, camaradas!

Cá vão então as minhas ideias sobre o que veio do 1º playtest.

Para já, parece-me que o jogo, como está, é excelente para acção ultra-violenta e ultra-cool. É simples de perceber, dado a grandes descrições. A parte de tomar o controlo da narrativa foi facilmente apanhado pelos jogadores, e embora alguns não gostem disso, tenho certeza que é pelo seu background de rpg - não vou tentar mudar-lhes o gosto, claro - e de certeza que usarão esta parte do jogo como failsafe para qualquer roll menos bom.

A única batalha que houve correu lindamente, com toda a gente a dar bons e bastantes bitaites; julgo que algumas coisas poderiam ter sido diferentes no decorrer do jogo (por ex: usar Cool Factor antes ou no decorrer da batalha), mas nunca se sabe como as coisas vão parar.

Adorei o uso que o RPL deu ao Cool Factor, para dar o hint para a próxima sessão de teste, onde, espero!, testaremos os últimos 25%...

...que são exactamente os que estão a dar água pela barba!

O jogo já é aquilo que me propuz fazer: SIM com controlo de narrativa, mas ainda não é NAR!

Para este efeito, vai ser necessário re-escrever a parte da descrição de Motivações e Fardos (que nunca entraram em jogo nesta sessão), e tenho certeza que terei que acrescentar que uma das Motivações seja Emocional; ou isso, ou apanhar das Motivações a emoção dominante (o tal exemplo das Pistolas ser Arrogância ou Confiança).

É também complicado para o Chios achar o que pode dar num bom Dilema (a tal parte das anti-Motivações que o Tony P. tanto fala, e que são mais ajuda para Chios que outra coisa), baseando-se apenas nas Motivações; o Ricardo Madeira diz bem aqui: ou seja, a Motivação deve partir mais daquilo que o jogador quer, e menos do Agente, e se toda a gente pode meter o bedelho, então temos que A) deixa de ser o que o jogador quer e B) pode ser fixe, mas dar uma carga de trabalhos...

Para isso existe a tal Motivação Essencial (onde ninguém excepto o jogador pode pegar) e vai existir a Motivação Emocional. Mais sobre isto na altura apropriada.

Malta que lá esteve, querem deixar aqui os vossos comentários?

Ricardo, dá pra passar para aqui os comentários do playtest?

Longinus

Uma cidade a arder, mulheres e crianças a serem selvaticamente violadas, homens cortados em cepos de carne e sangue, gritos de dor e sofrimento ecoam à minha volta.Não me consigo mexer... não consigo reagir... do negro do céu surge uma figura imponente que paira sobre os escombros e as labaredas, um homem com um capacete de guerreiro, uma cota de malha e uma veste branca com uma cruz vermelha no centro empunha uma espada em forma de cruz que crava na terra, olha-me directamente e diz com uma voz de trovão."Este não é o mundo de Deus! Este é o mundo que Deus criou e o homem corrompeu! Chegou a hora do homem se redimir perante o seu criador, chegou a hora de devolver a paz à terra e curar as suas feridas, chegou a hora do homem pagar pelos seus pecados contra a criação de Deus! Tu serás um instrumento dessa redenção! Tu serás a mão negra de Deus, a espada flamejante, os relâmpagos o enxofre o fogo que Deus lançou sobre Sodoma e Gomorra e agora lança sobre todo o mundo para cauterizar a ferida provocada pela fraqueza do homem! Tu foste escolhido entre aqueles que rejeitaram o senhor para o servirem agora! Tu és..."

Som de um caixote a partir. Acordo. Passos apressados e partes móveis de metralhadoras automáticas a agitarem-se com os movimentos bruscos dos seus utilizadores, são eles.

20 Metros.

Não pararam de me seguir desde o ataque à Catedral, 5 dias em fuga pelos esgotos, vielas e submundo de Nova York. Escondi-me para poder dormir, finalmente, mas eles encontraram-me. 

15 Metros.

Novatos, passam por uma poça de água, consigo contar os barulhos provocados pelas mil e uma características que distinguem um homem de outro. São 10.

10 Metros.

O som do metal do carregador a deslizar pelo compartimento do cabo da minha pistola pára, tiro a segurança, carrego a primeira bala. Estou pronto.

5 Metros.

Estou escondido num cruzamento entre becos, eles vêm pela direita, o beco em frente vai dar a uma rua principal. São 10. Respiro fundo. Mata os pecadores. Todos.

Vai!

 

Corro pelo cruzamento.

 

2 metros de largura, 0.67 segundos entre cada tiro.

 

Largo três tiros certeiros, um na cabeça do que vinha à frente, um no coração do segundo, um no peito do terceiro. Lanço-me pelo beco da frente uso um caixote como apoio e salto para uma escada de emergência.

 

1 metro e meio de altura.

 

Fica quieto. Controla a respiração. São 7.

 

"Rápido vocês três dêem a volta e apanhem-no pelo outro lado! nós vamos por este."

 

Quatro entram no beco empunhando as armas, não vêm nada, passam por mim.

 

3 metros até o mais longe, 1 metro até ao mais perto.

 

Desprendo a protecção que segura a escada, ela cai a direito e vou disparando.

 

Tiro: Olho direito do mais longe.

 

0.67 segundos.

 

Tiro: Meio dos olhos do mais perto.

 

0.67 segundos.

 

Atinjo o chão, rebolo para a esquerda e largo um tiro na perna do que está à minha frente. Ele cai na linha de fogo do colega que estava atrás e é retalhado pelas balas de chumbo em vez de mim.

 

2 segundos.

 

Levanto-me. O que sobre olha atónito sobre o que acabou de fazer.

 

Tiro: Testa.

 

10 segundos.

 

Os outros estão a chegar pela frente.

 

1 metro 50 cm até à esquina do cruzamento.

 

Corro e rebolo para a direita. Levanto-me do outro lado da esquina mal entram no beco. Fica quieto. Controla a respiração. São 3. Consigo ouvir os seus passos. Entram no beco devagar. Observam o massacre. Olham em volta à procura de explicação.

 

Baixo-me. Pego numa pedra.

 

Arco de 10 metros de raio. Inclinação 50º.

 

A pedra voa pelo beco e parte uma janela do lado esquerdo, 2º Andar. Nervosos começam a descarregar as suas metralhadoras na janela. Novatos, no meio de tanto barulho nem me ouvem a disparar.

 

66 balas disparadas.

 

Dobro a esquina e entro no beco.

 

Tiro: 5 metros. Acerta no pescoço do primeiro.

 

0.67 segundos. 80 balas disparadas.

 

Tiro: 5 metros e 50 cm. Acerto na tempôra do segundo que se virava para ver porque é que estava salpicado de sangue.

 

0.67 segundos. 96 balas disparadas.

 

O terceiro, ao ser atingido pelo corpo do segundo, vira-se e dispara sobre mim. Não sai nada. Novato, não contou as balas. Aponto a minha pistola ao meio dos olhos dele.

 

6 metros.

 

"Desculpe... não me mate... estava só a cumprir ordens... por favor!!! Tenho mulher e filhos... só faço isto para os sustentar!! Perdoe-me por favor!!!!"

 

Banhado em lágrimas e ranhos. Vergonhoso.

 

2 segundos.

 

6 segundos.

 

10 segundos.

 

Ele não procura a salvação, procura um salvamento. A sua redenção não é sincera.

 

Deus tratará de o julgar, não eu.

 

Tiro: Testa.

 

3 segundos.

 

O cérebro desliga do resto do corpo. Músculos desligam. Nada resta para combater a gravidade. Ele cai no chão.

 

"Deixaste um vivo" Uma voz feminina atrás de mim.

 

Viro-me e aponto instintivamente a pistola para de onde veio a voz, um bocado mais acima, foco-me mesmo no meio dos ... olhos ... castanhos, profundos, suaves... sem medos.

Olho para o todo.

Uma mulher de gabardina preta até à cintura.

1 metro e 67 cm.

Cabelos e olhos castanhos, uma expressão descontraída...

É bonita.

"Á tua esquerda ao pé da parede" diz com uma voz melodiosa. Um truque. Não vou olhar.

Oiço uma voz à procura ofegante. Vou olhar.

1 segundo.

Ela tem razão, o primeiro desta série de três está vivo. Acertei no pescoço mas não o matei.

10 balas. 9 mortos.

Não devia ter parado para dormir. Deixou-me desleixado.

"Não te preocupes com ele, não está em posição de nos interromper. Temos coisas para falar tu e eu" Ela põe a mão ao bolso. Em qualquer outro dia tinha disparado de imediato.Não consigo ... aqueles olhos, porque é que não consigo parar de olhar para aqueles olhos. O que é que eles têm? Tenho uma pistola apontada ao centro nevrálgico mais importante do seu corpo e ela não mostra medo, olha descontraidamente, como se eu não estivesse aqui sequer.

Não terá medo da morte? será uma verdadeira crente?

Ela tira um cartão branco, três dígitos.

"1", "0" e "1".

A marca dos Seguidores! Quem é esta mulher?

"Eu sou a tua oportunidade para servires melhor o teu senhor, podes vir comigo e aprender como fazer melhor o teu trabalho, ou podes ir-te embora e nunca mais me veres. Escolhe?"

2 segundos.

Ponho a pistola no coldre.

Ela sorri

"Óptimo, vem comigo, tens muito que aprender".

------------------------------------

Não sabe o seu nome, de onde veio, quando exactamente começaram as alucinações. Apenas sabe que um dia deu por si num fato de protecção preto com duas armas na mão e uma missão: Limpar a corja do mundo.Foi na Catedral que ele se tornou o que é agora, através de experiências com químicos que aumentam a força, capacidade sensitiva, velocidade, resistência. Foi sujeito a horas, dias, meses, anos(?) de programação subliminar intensiva, hipnotismo, tortura. Até estar certo da sua missão e esquecer todo o passado.

Apenas se lembra duma coisa, um símbolo utilizado pelos homens que o transformaram, um círculo entre dois traços verticais.

Quando a Catedral foi atacada ele fugiu, lutou para sobreviver até ser acolhido na The 101, agora serve-os acreditando que eles o irão fazer seguir o verdadeiro caminho que Deus escolheu para ele.

Nota: um círculo entre dois traços verticais é tipo isto: |O|, não necessariamente isto: 101.

Nome de código: Longinus

Motivations: Livrar o mundo dos que desafiam a lei de deus (essential); Predador (devido as suas capacidades aumentadas e sentidos despertos); Pistolas gémeas (a verdadeira arma de Deus hehe).

Milstone: Devido ao tempo que passou a ser programado Longinus tem alucinações e ataques de loucura que aparecem a qualquer altura, normalmente incluem os mandamentos e palavras de ordem que ele não consegue ignorar. Também devido à infestação do seu corpo com químicos que aumentam as capacidades, ele não pode sobreviver sem eles. Se ficar muito tempo sem restabelecer a sua dose começa a ficar com espasmos e o seu corpo começa a falhar por completo. 

Longinus tem nas costas uma tatuagem duma cruz preta, o traço horizontal vai de ombro a ombro e o vertical desde a nuca até ao fim das costas. Tem também outra junto do peito esquerda, em forma de ponta de lança que de vez em quando começa a doer, também parece haver qualquer coisa dura debaixo da sua pele nessa zona que ele nunca descobriu o que é.

Referências: Noir (anime), Azrael (personagem da DC Comics), The Boondock Saints (filme), Equilibrium (filme), Sin City (filme).

"the drunks of the Red-Piss Legion refuse to be vanquished"

The 101 - Documento de Jogo

Aqui está o aguardado Documento de Jogo do 101.

Saquem-no e dissequem-no, por favor, e se conseguirem achar um grupo com que jogar, era excelente; agradecia ainda mais se esse grupo não tivesse nada a ver com nenhuma das pessoas que jogou 101, mas não sou esquisito.

Se o jogarem, agradeço também o Actual Play.

Como é óbvio, comentários do género "o teu jogo é indie e por isso não vale um chavo" ou "porque não mudas o nome do jogo para Os Incorruptíveis Contra A Droga?" serão automaticamente recebidos com o meu maior desprezo.

Obrigado! :D

AnexoTamanho
101 - The RPG - Gaming Text Document.txt62.44 KB

The Pool

The Pool

Um Jogo de Interpretação de Personagens, por James V. West

Obrigado pelo apoio que me deram os tipos do The Forge (indie-rpgs.com). Agradecimentos especiais a Ron Edwards, Scott Knipe, Paul Czege, Mike Holmes, Blake Hutchins, Nathan E. Banks, Rene Vernon, Tim Denee (e a rpg.net), bankuei, David Farmer (e os outros tipos da Collector Comics), Shawn Martin, James Perrin, Phillip Keeney, Dawna Keeney (piscadela), etc.

The Pool é um sistema de interpretação de personagens orientado para uma narração colaborativa entre os jogadores. Podes usá-lo para qualquer universo ou género de história que queiras recriar. Uma pessoa no teu grupo de jogo precisa, no entanto, de ser o Mestre de Jogo (ou MJ), pois esta é a pessoa que conduz a narração. Para jogares precisas de muitos D6 (dados de seis ou de seis lados), entre os quais uma mão-cheia de “dados do MJ” que sejam de uma cor diferente dos restantes.

Para começar o processo de criação de personagem, cada jogador precisa de 15 dados para o seu Monte de dados inicial. Os restantes dados podem ser postos de parte num Monte partilhada por todos.

Podes descarregar o documento completo em formato PDF mais abaixo. Obrigado pelo teu interesse!

AnexoTamanho
The Pool PDF230.57 KB

WitchCraft Starter Kit

 

WitchCraft Starter Kit

 

“Can a magician kill a man by magic?” Lord Wellington asked Strange.
Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question.
“I suppose a
magician might,” he admitted, “but a gentleman never could.”

- Susanne Clarke, "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel"


Bem-vindos ao mundo de WitchCraft. É um mundo exactamente como o nosso, mas com um lado muito mais sombrio. Os monstros e as criaturas que enchem as nossas lendas vagueiam pelo mundo, perseguindo e usando-nos para os seus fins. Espíritos e vampiros, demónios e anjos, lobisomens e coisas indiscritíveis, todos existem no nosso mundo, e têm-no feito desde tempos imemoriais. E fomos nós que os ajudamos a manterem-se escondidos, pois deixamos de acreditar nas velhas histórias e no invisível.
Os nossos antepassados rezavam aos seus deuses, pedindo segurança e saúde. Usavam magia para rituais, e amuletos para lhes dar sorte e os proteger das criaturas da noite. Hoje, a tecnologia e a ciência substituíram a magia e a fé como ferramentas que utilizamos para nos protegermos dos males do mundo. Os horrores das trevas ainda caminham, mas nós já não mais acreditamos neles - tornando-os livres de fazerem o que quiserem connosco.

Mas não estamos indefesos. As trevas e o mal não são as únicas forças invisiveis no nosso mundo. O Bem e o divino também existem. Nem todos esqueceram que os horrores são reais. Alguns têm ainda a capacidade de tocar a Essência da criação para lutar pelo lado da Ordem e da Luz.

São estas pessoas que os jogadores vão incarnar neste jogo, aqueles escolhidos quer pelo destino, quer por opção própria, para caminhar a estreita linha entre a luz e as trevas. São conhecidos como "Gifted", pois redescobriram o poder e a capacidade de combater utilizando magia e os deuses que, na realidade, nunca nos deixaram. Alguns usam magia para moldar o mundo à sua vontade. Alguns usam os poderes da mente para ver e saber coisas que os transportaram através quer das pequenas batalhas, quer da guerra que se aproxima. Até entre os Mundanos, existem aqueles que descobriram a verdade e se entregaram voluntariamente à luta.
E estes soldados são desesperadamente necessários nestes tempos de crise. Há uma coisa em que todos os Gifted concordam, independentemente de crenças ou associações - o Fim dos Dias está a chegar. O ciclo de eras está a alcançar um climax e os Gifted podem muito bem ser a única barreira entre o nosso mundo e a aniquilação. Aqueles que apoiam as Trevas sabem-no muito bem. Alguns tentam apressar esse momento. Alguns tentam conquistar o máximo possível antes do final. Outros têm razões e objectivos bem para além da nossa compreensão.

Bem-vindos ao mundo de WitchCraft. Não é um mundo fácil ou agradável, tal como o nosso. A batalha contra as forças das Trevas é um esforço nobre, no entanto. Com sorte e preserverança, talvez sejam vocês quem vai inclinar os pratos da balança e salvar o futuro deste mundo.


++++++++

Para quem quer jogar WitchCraft e não tem tempo para ler o livro inteiro (que está de graça no DriveThruRPG), ficam aqui já as regras "light" para saberem ao que vão. Recomendo lerem também a review que fiz ao jogo para ter um bocado mais de ideia de como as coisas vão funcionar.


As secções estão divididas em tópicos para ser mais fácil encontrarem o que procuram.

1 - Introdução e Setting

INTRODUCTION
Welcome to CJ Carella’s WitchCraft roleplaying game from Eden Studios. Here you will find everything you need to begin playing the acclaimed game of modern magic and dark secrets. Just read through this material, gather some friends together, scrounge up some gaming dice (a four-sided (D4), a six-sided (D6), an eight-sided (D8), and a ten-sided (D10) die), and you are ready to play.

 

SETIING

WitchCraft is a game of modern horror. The setting is the world where we live—Times Square, traffic jams, karaoke bars, Nokia cell phones and 24-hour news channels. Unknown to most, however, this world is infused with the supernatural. In ancient times, shamans would travel the Otherworlds and converse with spirits, tribes were guided by visions, and invocations assisted the hunt. In time, the shamans became high priests. The metaphysical became more secretive until only a select few had any knowledge of
its existence. This has continued to modern times. Secret societies grew and evolved, hiding from the mundane world as they guided their members in the metaphysical arts.
Things have changed in the last few years. Since the 1960s, the number of humans able to use metaphysical powers— the Gifted—has increased dramatically. Legendary spirits and creatures have manifested again, and even become plentiful. The Reckoning is approaching. Whether these changes signal the dawn of a new golden age or the arrival of an apocalypse is unknown. The supernatural becomes more manifest each day. The Covenants, secret societies of trained Gifted, become more powerful. Supernatural predators become bolder. Things are getting stranger and more dangerous.

It is an interesting time to be alive.


CAST MEMBERS

The Gifted are the most powerful supernaturally, but also the first targets of mystic forces. Lesser Gifted have a touch of supernatural ability, and a fair number of skills and abilities in other areas. Mundanes have no supernatural power, but are at or near the top of human capacity in other ways. Each Cast Member is affiliated with an Association. Many Associations exist in the world of WitchCraft; only a few are touched on here.

The Wicce are a loose grouping of “witches,” and their ranks include Magicians (who use Invocations or magical spells), Seers (who possess psychic Sight), and Mediums (who interact with the dead through Necromancy).

The Rosicrucians are much more structured, and the majority of them are Magicians.

Sentinels are holy warriors who use Divine Inspiration (the power of miracles) and prayer to fight supernatural predators.

The Twilight Order includes primarily Mediums who use Necromancy to protect the Living from the Dead.

The Cabal of the Psyche protects Seers from the ignorance of mundane masses.

A Solitaire belongs to a smaller group, or operates as a sole practitioner.

 

 

All characters have Attributes—basic physical and mental abilities.

The Primary Attributes in WitchCraft are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Perception, and Willpower. Human Attributes range from 1 to 6, with 2 being average.
Secondary Attributes are determined by Primary Attributes.

Life Points (LPs) represent the amount of damage a character can absorb. When a character’s Life Points are exhausted they are at or near death.

Endurance Points (EPs) show the amount of fatigue a character can withstand.

Speed (Spd) is how fast a person can run (in miles per hour; halve that amount for yards per second).

The Essence Pool is the amount of spiritual energy that a Cast Member possesses; it is the strength of the character’s soul.

 

Qualities and Drawbacks are positive and negative traits that help round out a character.

Skills are the abilities of the Cast Member. Skill level 1 represents an amateur. A 2 or 3 represents general competency. Extreme competence comes with levels 4 or 5. Higher levels are possible but uncommon.

2 - Regras

RULES

Roleplaying games are still games, and like most games they have rules. The main rule is for the Chronicler and the players to have fun. Rules are not necessary for many aspects of the game. Simple things like talking or picking up an object do not require rules. Only if the outcome of an action is in doubt and the results of that action are important, do the rules come into play. That’s when it’s time to start rolling dice.

The ten-sided die (D10) is the one most commonly used in the game; all Tasks and Tests are resolved with a D10. Basically, a player rolls a D10 and adds the appropriate Attribute and/or skill to the number rolled. If the result is 9 or higher, the action was successful. If it is less than 9, the action failed. A higher total value means a more spectacular success, and some actions may be more difficult than others (when modifiers are applied).

Most actions are considered Tasks; these add the values of one Attribute and one skill to a D10. The Chronicler always determines which Attribute and skill should be used for a particular action. Tests are used when there is no appropriate skill. There are two types of Tests:

In a Simple Test, the value of the Attribute is doubled and added to a D10.

In a Difficult Test, the value of the Attribute is not doubled before adding it to a D10.

The Chronicler determines which Attribute is used for the Test, and whether it is a Simple or a Difficult Test.

For example, Keith is playing Sonny Chang. Keith wants Chang to climb up the drainpipe of a three-story building. The Chronicler decides that this should be resolved with a Task using Chang’s Strength of 4 and Climbing Skill of 2. The player rolls a 4 on a D10, and adds 6 (the sum of Attribute 4 and Skill 2). The result is 10. Since this is higher than 9, Sonny Chang succeeds in making his way to the rooftop. The Chronicler then tells the player to roll a Simple Perception Test. Chang’s Perception is 3, so this is doubled to 6. A D10 is rolled and comes up 6, for a total of 12. The Chronicler informs the player that Chang cannot help but notice the sticks of dynamite bundled together on the rooftop and the small red display that is rapidly counting down to zero.


If a character does not have the appropriate skill, she may make an Unskilled Attempt. This uses the appropriate Attribute (without doubling it) with a minimum penalty of -2. Regardless of the outcome of the attempt, the Success Level is never more than Decent (see Outcome Table). For example, Zoe has no Driving Skill, but is behind the wheel of a car. She hits a patch of ice, and the car starts to spin. She rolls a D10 and adds her Dexterity with the -2 modifier to the roll. As her Dexterity is 3, only 1 is added to whatever comes up on the die. She had better roll something high.

 

Sometimes a character attempts something and another character tries to stop her or avoid the action. This is a Resisted Task or Test. It is resolved as a normal Task or Test, but both sides get to roll. If both rolls fail, neither side gets the desired effect. If one fails and one succeeds, the successful character wins. If both rolls are successful, the better result wins. Ties are rerolled.

 

THE ROLE OF LUCK

On an unmodified roll of 10, that result is added to the total. Further, the player rolls a D6 and subtracts 1. This number is also added to the total. If a 6 is rolled on the D6 (5 is added to the total), roll the D6 again. Continue until the D6 result is something other than a 6. Truly large numbers can be generated this way. On an unmodified roll of 1, nothing is added to the total. Again, a D6-1 is rolled, but this time the result is subtracted from the prior total. Again, repeat this process as long as 6 is the result of the additional rolls. This can result in very low negative numbers.

 

MODIFIERS

Sometimes circumstances make an attempted Task easier or more difficult. In such a case, a positive or negative modifier determined by the Chronicler may be added to the attempt. The following table shows some modifiers that may be used.

 

 

OUTCOME TABLE

A result of 9 or more generally means that the attempt was accomplished, but sometimes the degree of that success is important. In such a case, take the final result (including all negative and positive modifiers) and consult the table below.

 

GETTING SCARED

In scary circumstances, mundane humans must pass a Difficult Willpower Test; Gifted use a Simple Willpower Test. If this Fear Test is failed, panic sets in. Like any other Test, modifiers may be applied at the Chronicler’s discretion. Once a character fails a Fear Test, use the Fear Table to determine results. Roll a D10 and subtract the character’s Willpower from the result. Then apply any Fear Test penalties as a bonus. So if the character had a -4 to her Fear Test, she would have a +4 when rolling on this table. If the final result is less than 9, the character was only scared for a few seconds. If it is more than 9, the Fear Table uses Success Levels to determine the effects fright has on the character. As with anything else, if the Chronicler feels the result is inappropriate, he can always change it to something else.


FEAR TABLE

 

3 - Combate

COMBAT

Combat is broken down into a series of actions called Turns. A Turn lasts one to five seconds of Game Time. At the beginning of each Turn, the players declare the intentions of their Cast Member. This is where they say, “I want to draw a gun,” or “I cast an Invocation.” The Chronicler decides if that action is possible in one Turn. Most simple actions are, but if a character wants to knock a hole in a wall with her gun butt, she is going to need more than five seconds.

Everyone then rolls Initiative on a D10 and adds their Dexterity. The Chronicler does the same, or simply decides when the Supporting Cast or Adversaries act.

Once initiative is determined, the intended Tasks and Tests are rolled. Usually, a character may only take one action per Turn. If she wishes to do more, each additional action suffers a cumulative -2 penalty. So the first action in a Turn is resolved normally, a second action taken in that same Turn incurs a -2, a third action incurs a -4, and so on. Close combat (fighting an opponent at arm’s length or closer) is a little bit different—one attack and one defense Task are allowed per Turn. Beyond that, the cumulative -2 penalty applies. In close combat, attacking is a Task using Dexterity and the appropriate skill (Brawling, Martial Arts, or Hand Weapon). If the target has a hand weapon, he may attempt to parry with a Dexterity and Hand Weapon Task. Characters with Martial Arts may attempt to parry a weapon with their bare hands.

Anyone may attempt to dodge an attack. If the character has the Dodge Skill, a Dexterity and Dodge Task is used. If he does not have that skill, a Difficult Dexterity Test is required. Attacking and defending are treated as Resisted Tasks.

Ranged attacks use a Dexterity and weapon skill Task with modifiers based on the range. Point blank range adds +1 to the strike Task and +1 to the Damage Multiplier. Short range has no modifier. Long range adds -3 to the strike Task and reduces the Damage Multiplier by one. Extreme range adds -6 to the strike Task and -2 to the Damage Multiplier. Ranged weapons list their ranges in yards, separated by slashes (for example, a shotgun with buckshot has a range of 10/30/50/100/200 yards).

Lighting can affect combat. Poor light (a dark alley or moonlight) gives a -1 to the combat Task. Bad lighting (a moonless night) gives a -4. Total darkness is a special case; roll a D10 and only a 9 or higher strikes the target. If the character makes a Difficult Perception Test, she can add the Success Level to the D10 roll. This signifies the use of other senses besides sight to hit the target.

Multiple shots are possible with ranged weapons. For each additional shot fired in a single Turn, the strike Task suffer a cumulative -1 penalty. All this gunfire can be pretty distracting. Anyone who is being fired upon must pass a Simple Willpower Test in order to carry out her stated intention. Otherwise, she freezes, hesitates, or huddles down in a corner and tries desperately not to be hit.

Damage is measured in Life Points. If the Life Points are reduced to 0, the character is critically injured and risks death. Most damage in the Unisystem is determined by rolling a die and multiplying the result by the Damage Multiplier. For instance a .22 pistol does D4 x 2(4). The 2 is the Multiplier; the number in parenthesis is the average result (used when the group wants to cut down on die rolls).

Damage is reduced by armor. The Armor Value (AV) is rolled (if necessary), and that much is subtracted from the damage inflicted. In the case of a bullet or slashing weapon, remaining damage is doubled.

 

THE EFFECTS OF INJURY

A character reduced to five Life Points (LPs) is seriously hurt. All actions have a negative modifier of anywhere from -1 to -5 (at Chronicler’s discretion). At zero LPs or below, the character is knocked down, stunned and semi-conscious. A Consciousness Test (Constitution and Willpower minus the number of LPs below zero) is required to remain conscious. So, at -7 LPs, a Consciousness Test suffers a -7. At - 10 LPs, a Survival Test is required (Constitution and Willpower minus 1 for every 10 LPs below zero). The Survival Test must be passed once each minute until the character receives some First Aid. Each additional Test is at a cumulative -1.


For example, Liz Rosen is shot twice by a 10mm for 50 points of damage. She had 22 LPs and is now at -28 LPs. Her Constitution is 2 and her Willpower is 2. This total of 4 is reduced by 2 (1 for every 10 points below zero) for her Survival Test. She needs to roll a 7 or better to live. If she lives, she must make a Consciousness Test to avoid passing out. This is at a -28, so unless she rolls a string of 10s, she is going to go unconscious. If she does not receive any kind of medical attention, a minute later she has to make another Survival Roll with a -1 penalty.

 

RECOVERY

First Aid stabilizes the patient (no more Survival Tests), and grants one Life Point per Success Level of an Intelligence and First Aid Task. Characters regain one Life Point per Constitution level per day until they reach zero Life Points, and two Life Points per day thereafter. Characters recover consciousness when their Life Points rise above zero.

 

OBJECTS

Objects have a Damage Capacity. The Damage Capacity is comparable to Life Points. Once that number is exhausted, the object is destroyed. The Chronicler decides whether a certain attack damages a certain object. For example, a man can pound on a car fender all day, but only damages himself.

Objects may also have an Armor Value (AV). This indicates how many points of damage are ignored before Damage Capacity is decreased.

 

ENDURANCE LOSS

Hard work (like running away from an angry mob) can reduce a character’s Endurance Pool by one every ten minutes. Very Hard Work reduces Endurance by D4(2) every minute. Frenzied Activity costs D4(2) Endurance every Turn.

Characters also need at least seven hours of sleep in a 24- hour period. For every hour missed, reduce Endurance Points by one. If the character stays awake longer than 24 hours, one Endurance Point is lost each hour beyond 24 in which she stays awake. Thus, a character that has been awake for 36 hours loses a total of 19 Endurance Points (7 for the first 24 hours, 12 for the next 12 hours). These points can only be regained by sleeping. Once Endurance Points drop to five or less, -2 is applied to all actions.

If the character gets below zero Endurance Points, she must pass a Consciousness Test (see Effects of Injury, p. 10) to stay awake. This Test must be passed every Turn, so eventually the character will pass out.

Characters recover one Endurance Point per Constitution level per half-hour of sleep, or hour of rest.

 

ESSENCE LOSS

A character’s Essence Pool may not be voluntarily brought below zero. Other effects may involuntarily reduce it below that level.
A character reduced to half her Essence Pool feels numb. All mental Tasks are performed at a -1 penalty until the Essence is regained.

At 1 or 0 Points of Essence, the character falls into a deep depression. All Tasks and Tests suffer a -3 penalty.

If Essence is reduced below 0, the victim must pass a Difficult Willpower Test with a -1 penalty for every 5 Points below 0. If failed, the character temporarily loses one level in one Mental Attribute.

If Essence is reduced to -30 or below, the character must pass a Survival Test (see Effects of Injury) with a -1 penalty for every 10 Points of Essence below 0.

Characters killed by loss of Essence have no apparent cause of death; medical examiners usually just call it heart failure. Normal humans regain one point of Essence per hour for each level of Willpower.

4 - Magia

MAGIC

To work magic, the Gifted must use Invocations—ritual actions and words that help focus the Magician’s will and imagination to produce the desired effects. All living things have an Essence Pool. Some among the Gifted have the power to tap into Essence at will; they are known as Channelers. A character’s level in Essence Channeling determines how much Essence he can bring forth from his inner reserve in one Turn.

All Invocations require three steps:

First, the Essence needed to create the effect is called forth—the Summoning. The Summoning takes as many Turns as are necessary to accumulate the Essence needed in the Invocation. If the Magician can channel all the Essence he needs in one Turn, he may perform the Focus Task on that same Turn.

Second, the Essence is then woven into a matrix (provided by the Invocation) designed to produce the desired effect—the Focus. A Focus roll is necessary, a Willpower and Invocation level Task. Targets can resist some Invocations; treat these as Resisted Tasks.

The third step—the Dismissal—requires no Task if the Focus Task was successful and no malicious intent was present. Using Soulfire to destroy a demonic monster is not malicious; using it to win a bar fight is. Otherwise, a separate Willpower and Invocation level Task is required. Dismissal Tasks have a base penalty of -1 for every five Essence Points spent (rounded up). If the Dismissal is successful, there are no further repercussions. Otherwise, Random Essence Effects occur.

 

RANDOM EFFECTS TABLE

Random Essence Effects occur in the vicinity of the failing caster within 24 hours. The Chronicler can pick one of the entries on the chart below, or roll a D6 and apply the result.

 

 

USING ESSENCE DEFENSIVELY

Those with Essence Channeling may use Essence defensively with a Resisted Task. The attacker uses the result of his Focus, Seer Art or other supernatural ability Task. The defender uses D10 and his Willpower, and adds one for every point of Essence spent in the defensive maneuver. If the defender is reacting quickly, he is limited by the amount of Essence he can channel in one Turn. If the defender wins or ties, the metaphysical effect fizzles out before affecting him. Otherwise, the Invocation, Seer Power or other supernatural ability works normally. This defensive Task is used in addition to any normal Resisted Tasks or Tests that apply to the power.

 

THE CROWD EFFECT

One of the reasons the Gifted seldom operate openly is that, when confronted in great numbers, mundanes and their emotions can overcome or dim the powers of Magic through the unwitting focus of their Essence. This occurs only during very specific circumstances.

First, at least ten people must be present; only groups of mundanes can generate enough power to seriously hinder a Magician. Second, the crowd must be aware that the Gifted is trying to perform magic, unless he is trying to affect members of the crowd with the magical effect, in which case the resistance is automatic. In other words, a Gifted character casting an Invocation without drawing attention to himself would be spared unless he was targeting the crowd itself. The amount of Essence neutralized varies by the size of the crowd (see the table below for the specifics)

 

CROWD EFFECT TABLE

 

SOURCES OF ESSENCE

Places of Power: Although Essence flows everywhere, there are areas where its currents run deeper and stronger. These Places of Power naturally accumulate Essence Points, which can be more easily tapped than ambient Essence. Any Invocation performed in such places can tap this extra power. The extra power can also be tapped by supernatural beings, some of which use it to manifest in the area. Haunts, evil spirits and strange occurrences often plague Places of Power. All Places of Power have an “overflow” of Essence that can be tapped by anyone performing Invocations in the area. This overflow renews itself every 24 hours, and it works on a “first come, first served” basis—after somebody exhausts the overflow, no extra Essence is available for the rest of the day.

Time of Power: Some times of the day, dates of the year and special events have a special significance. Noon and midnight are the most commonly occurring Times of Power. Any Invocation or supernatural ability performed during these hours (the benefits last for the entire hour) gains an additional five Essence Points. The Full Moon, the Summer and Winter Solstices, the Vernal and
Autumnal Equinoxes, and the Four Days of Power (Imbolc- February 2nd, Beltane-April 30th, Lughnasadh-August 1st, and Samhain-October 31st) all grant an additional 20 Essence Points. Times of Power are cumulative.

For example, a ritual conducted during the Vernal Equinox at midnight garners a total of 25 extra Essence Points.

Items of Power: Many symbols also have a great deal of power.A drawn or carved circle attracts an additional 10 Essence Points, useable in defensive Invocations only, for those inside it. A Circle also grants five extra Essence to those standing outside
the Circle, which can be used for any Invocation. The Pentagram, or five-pointed star, contributes five Essence Points to any Invocation cast within it. A Pentagram inside a Circle contributes a total of seven Essence Points, or 15 Points to any defensive Invocation.

 

GROUP MAGIC

Sorcery is more effective when performed by a group. In the working of Magic, the most important numbers are 3, 5, 7, and 13. The numbers 9 and 11 have some power, but are less important. Gathering in these numbers allows the use of extra Essence Points. The extra Essence from each number is listed below.

 

GROUP ESSENCE TABLE

 

Usually the Magician most skilled at the Invocation(s) to be attempted becomes the Leader of the Circle. The basic steps in casting group Magic Invocations are the same as for normal Invocations—Summoning, Focus and Dismissal.

The only change is the contribution of the group to the process. Only characters with the Essence Channeling Quality can participate in a Circle.

During the Summoning, the members of the Circle all contribute Essence to the process. The participants can contribute as much Essence as they wish, limited only by how long the Circle’s Leader waits. Circle members who do not know the Invocation being attempted are less effective, however; because of their inability to visualize the specifics of the Invocation, every two Essence Points they contribute only count as one Essence Point. The process ends when the Leader has absorbed all available Essence, or when the Leader decides he has gathered enough power. The Leader takes the combined energy unto himself; this includes any “free” Essence generated because of the number of participants present. The Leader then makes a Focus Task as though casting the Invocation by himself. When a Dismissal Task is necessary, the Leader gains a +1 bonus per member of the Circle (including himself). These bonuses may only be used to offset the Dismissal penalties; they do not add to the Dismissal Task roll. This helps the Leader Dismiss the often-enormous energies gathered by the group’s efforts.

 

THE SIGHT

Since humankind gained self-awareness, some people have been blessed with senses and abilities beyond the physical. These powers have long been known as “the Sight” or “the Second Sight,” since many such abilities involve sensing or seeing things beyond the scope of the five senses. The Sight does not require rituals or Invocations, nor does it involve invoking outside forces to perform Tasks; the power is entirely internal.

 

SEER POWERS

Each Seer ability has two elements: Strength and Art. Strength represents the raw power the psychic has. Art represents the degree of expertise a psychic has in using his abilities.

 

SEERS AND ESSENCE

Characters with Essence Channeling can temporarily raise the Strength of any of their Seer Powers by spending Essence Points. Every two Essence Points spent raise the Strength of a power by one during its next use. Only the amount of Essence the character can channel for one Turn can be used to increase a Seer Power, however.

 

HOLY SYMBOLS

From ancient legends to modern Hollywood movies, the power of holy symbols is part and parcel of many stories about the supernatural. A character using a holy symbol (be it a Cross, an Ankh, or any similar object) to protect himself must pass a Simple Willpower Test. Each Success Level allows the character to focus one Essence Point through the holy symbol. Supernatural beings confronting the charged holy symbol must make a Difficult Willpower Test at a -1 penalty per Essence Point focused through the symbol, or feel pain and fear when faced with it. The creatures hesitate to come near the wielder, let alone attack him. Even if the monster does not flee the power of the symbol, all its actions suffer a -4 penalty.

5 - Armageddon (Setting)

 

 

"Armageddon" decorre num futuro próximo, no mesmo setting the WitchCraft, onde ocorreram grandes mudanças. A Magia e o sobrenatural já não são parte de um mundo secreto, mantido escondido das massas. Em vez disso, uma guerra aberta entre a humanidade e as forças de estranhos e aterradores entidades de outra dimensão estende-se por todo o globo.

Anjos e os antigos Deuses caminham agora pela terra, lado a lado com os exércitos da humanidade, unidos contra Leviathan, uma criatura que ameaça a existência do universo inteiro. O Apóstolo das Trevas é o líder espiritual da Igreja das Revelações (aka "CoR" - Church of Revelations), um culto a nível mundial que venera Leviathan como se tratasse de um deus. Ele lidera também a força militar conhecida como o Exército das Revelações (Army of Revelations - AoR). Quer a Igreja quer o Exército fazem o trabalho de Leviathan na Terra. Assim que um número suficiente de seres humanos sigam Leviathan, ele poderá manifestar-se na nossa dimensão, refazendo o mundo à sua própria e retorcida imagem.

Felizmente, há forças ocultas a  tentarem impedir isto a todo o custo; As Nações Unidas lideram o mundo livre contra as trevas dos Exércitos do Apóstolo na Ásia, em África, e nas Américas. A Europa está práticamente perdida, mas nela continuam a existir células de resistência, que continuam a lutar através de sabotagem e guerrilha contra o Exército das Revelações. A guerra extende-se, igualmente, pelos Otherworlds - nos Mundos da Morte, nos Reinos das Fae, e nos Domínios dos Deuses. Até os exércitos Celestiais e Infernais lutam unidos contra um inimigo comum.

Este é o mundo de Armageddon. Durante anos, a magia tem-se tornado mais poderosa, e as criaturas sobrenaturais têm-se tornado mais comuns, enquanto o mundo se prepara para a batalha final. Os jogadores podem escolher entre uma grande variedade de tipos de personagens, com diversos níveis de poder. Podem jogar de poderosas criaturas divinas, como os membros das Hostes Celestiais ou as Legiões Infernais. Podem jogar com servos sobrenaturais dos antigos deuses, compartilhando algum do poder destas divindades. Podem ser Imortais, que utilizam um vasto e olvidado conhecimento para proteger o mundo de um inimigo de quem têm ainda se lembram de um passado muito distante. Podem jogar como seres humanos de poderosas habilidades, a quem as suas longas vidas os conduziram até este conflito, ou mesmo seres humanos que apenas começaram a aperceber-se do seu potencial metafísico recentemente. Podem até ser soldados perfeitamente normais, lutando nas linhas da frente da batalha final.

Não importa como as personagens são retratadas, quem são, e se agem contrafeitos ou por escolha; todos eles trabalham com um único objectivo comum.

Salvar o mundo.

[Wish] - O jogo dos Desejos

 

Bem vindos à página principal do meu novo jogo, Wish!

A partir daqui inserirei todos os desenvolvimentos do jogo, que espero completar em breve. Até lá comentem, sugiram e critiquem à vossa vontade, é tudo bem vindo!

 

Que todos os vossos desejos se realizem...!

 

PS: já agora, aquele desejo está muito rosmenga, alguém se voluntaria a editá-lo um pouco ou a sugerir arte nova?

[Wish-beta]Nova versão a caminho

Só para dizer que me encontro com inspiração suficiente para continuar com o desenvolvimento do Wish.

Algumas das coisas que vão mudar:

  • Educação, Profissão e Vocação serão conhecidos como Domínios, e será atribuido a cada um um tipo de dado em vez de um valor de 1 a 3. d6 para o mais baixo, d8 para o médio e d10 para o mais alto.
  • Domínios terão mais uma pontuação, o Potencial, que flutuará durante o jogo e ajudará a passar os rolls; recupera-se fazendo bom roleplay ou passando rolls em que não se usou Potencial. Pode-se dizer que isto ajuda a carregar baterias para rolls mais importantes no futuro.
  • Todos os rolls serão a dificuldade 6, sendo que as penalidades ou bónus mudanças no tipo de dado que se rola (ex: domínio com pontuação d8 e bónus +1 passa a rolar d10, domínio com valor d6 e penalidade -1 passa a rolar d4).
  • Para criar maior envolvência com os Desejos, institui-se o conceito de Génio; é como podem imaginar um companheiro sobrenatural com poderes de realizar Desejos e com um vínculo a algum objecto físico, e haverá vários tipos de Génios para mais fácil personalização. (ex: génio da lâmpada, duh, espírito num colar, fantasma num anel, ET num telemóvel)
  • Deixará de haver 3 valores relacionados com o pedido de Desejos, passando a haver apenas um valor de pontos de Desejo. Estes serão como que a envolvência que a personagem tem com o seu Génio e como tal afecta como ele se porta com a personagem (ex: valor baixo pode levar a que não se possa fazer certos desejos mais complicados por causa do custo, valor alto pode fazer com que se recupere pontos de Desejo mais depressa)
  • A mecânica de pedir Desejos será reestruturada, havendo uma negociação com os outros jogadores para o pagamento do Desejo; o pagamento é feito rolando um dado acordado entre os jogadores que diminuirá a pontuação de Desejo da personagem. quanto mais complicado o Desejo, maior será o dado, quanto mais simples, mais baixo será o dado. O Wishmaster poderá pedir um gasto base para a formulação do Desejo.
  • A recuperação de pontos de Desejo será feita por participar na negociação dos Desejos dos outros, e o tipo de Génio influenciará a recuperação.

Como vêm ainda é preciso limar muitas arestas, mas parece-me que assim já se está a ir nalguma direcção. Alguns de vocês já conhecem a versão anterior, o que me dizem desta? Poderá funcionar melhor, ou algumas mudanças não são necessárias?

[Wish] Apresentação

Este é um projecto que está na minha cabeça a maturar já há alguns anos. Desde sempre soube o que o jogo seria, mas faltava-me aquele toque que me fizesse querer mesmo ir em frente. Hoje idealizei a mecânica que mais me agradou até agora, e decidi iniciar a produção.

Mas antes de mais, as 3 Grandes:

1. Sobre o que é o teu jogo?
Este é um jogo sobre a maravilha e o horror de se ser abençoado com o dom de ver os seus desejos realizados. Por alguma razão, as personagens podem pedir desejos. Têm um génio que os cumpre, são santos que clamam aos deuses, têm uma frequência directa para uma civilização extra-terrestre anos-luz à frente da nossa. De qualquer das maneiras, elas podem fazer com que as palavras se tornem realidade, desde que digam antes "Desejo..." Mas o mundo para que entram não são rosas, e tudo o que conhecem começa lentamente a mudar, pela sua própria mão ou pela de outrem.

2. O que é que as personagens fazem?
As personagens vivem os frutos e as contrapartidas de se poder desejar o que quer que seja. Elas gerem a sua consciência, desenvolvendo-se até acharem um equilíbrio quanto ao poder que têm e ao mundo que os rodeia. Para algumas esse poder será demais, após uma catadupa de efeitos colaterais indesejados, para outros será a origem da sua corrupção, pois quanto mais poder tivermos, maior esta será. Outros ainda descobrirão como usar o seu poder duma maneira equilibrada e regrada, atingindo uma plenitude quanto ao que os rodeia. No fundo terão de crescer, tanto psicologicamente como emocionalmente, e tirar as suas conclusões quanto ao uso do seu poder.
Ao mesmo tempo têm de lidar com as alterações no seu mundo, quer tenham sido feitas por eles próprios ou por outros. Numa boa parte das vezes o mundo muda e eles nem notam, e essas mudanças começam a ser cada vez mais centradas neles até que algo terrível lhes acontece. Cabe ás personagens evitar uma catástrofe antes dela acontecer, antes que seja tarde demais, quer elas queiram ou não.

3. O que fazem os jogadores?
Os jogadores agem como a consciência da sessão. Eles não são só responsáveis pelas suas personagens e seus desejos, são também eles que determinam como o desejo pode correr mal, e como são os seus efeitos colaterais. Quando uma personagem pede um desejo, não o está a fazer sozinha, pois os outros jogadores têm uma palavra a dizer sobre isso (de notar que em nenhum momento as personagens dos jogadores têm algo a dizer contra ou a favor do desejo de outrem). Espera-se que os jogadores façam crescer as suas personagens, e as mudem à medida que as coisas se desenrolam.

Pormenores que quero partilhar antes que me esqueça:
Os jogadores antes de se sentarem rolam um dado para determinar a ordem pela qual vão ocupar os lugares. A ideia é sentarem-se de maneira diferente em todas as sessões para não haver favoritismos ou bloqueios na hora de formular desejos.
Os jogadores negoceiam todos os desejos. Quando um jogador pede um desejo, o jogador à direita formula a maneira como o desejo corre mal, e o da esquerda descreve os efeitos colaterais. Após apostarem os seus dados de desejo, rolam e vêm quem tem mais sucessos. Dependendo dos resultados podem haver desejos em que nada corre mal, ou em que o efeito colateral dele é benéfico, ou corre mal e torna-se completamente diferente do pronunciado!
O jogador dito mestre (neste caso Wishmaster) é quem diz como o desejo é realizado, tendo sempre em conta o desejo da personagem, os efeitos colaterais do jogador à esquerda, e as complicações do jogador à direita. Os valores rolados nos dados também entram em conta, se o valor do jogador "complicador" for mais alto do que o do "desejador", o desejo sai bem mais diferente do pretendido, por exemplo. Interpretações dos resultados serão discutidas mais tarde.
Os jogadores "complicador" e "colateral" serão recompensados pela sua participação na formulação dum desejo, ganhando vantagens como mais desejos para a sua personagem ou possibilidade de opor-se a outros desejos. Neste momento penso em dar mais oposição quando falham, e mais desejos quando conseguem oposição, mas isso pode mudar entretanto. A ideia é motivar os jogadores a participarem em algo muitas vezes pessoal pedido por outro jogador.
A ideia é fazer um sistema que se adapte a qualquer época de jogo, quer seja pré-histórica, idade média, fantasia, victoriana, moderna, contemporânea ou futurista. Desejos não mudam, só o que as pessoas fazem com eles.
Já não vejo um sistema de RPG a usar d6 há algum tempo, por isso vou tentar criar algo que os use. A minha ideia era usar um sistema de esforço, em que se gastam pontos duma habilidade para ter mais dados e se chegar a um número-alvo maior.
As personagens terão habilidades com pontuações que podem gastar durante a sessão para cumprirem acções. Essas pontuações serão repostas no inicio de cada dia de jogo ou período de descanso. Tentarei fazer com que as folhas de personagem sejam o mais simples possivel, enumerando uma lista de competências que eles possam desempenhar em detrimento de estatísticas comuns.

Por agora é tudo o que me lembro. Vou pensar mais no assunto nos próximos dias, mas gostava da vossa opinião quanto a esta ideia. Espero ter pormenores do sistema e folhas de personagem da próxima vez que abra um tópico sobre este jogo.

[Wish] Conceito expandido

Continuando o post de apresentação, vou expandir as Grandes 3 para as Poderosas 19. Vai ser difícil mas vai concerteza fazer com que isto possa ir em frente. Ora mãos à obra:

4 - Como é que o setting ajuda a definir o jogo?
O setting é semelhante ao nosso mundo. Não existe magia nem mitologia, é um mundo de razão e lógica. Só aqueles que podem pedir desejos são fora do comum, e esses são raros, muito raros mesmo. Mas não é por isso que não têm problemas, os próprios Desejos são fontes disso mesmo. Os Desejos têm um condão de se virarem contra quem os pede, mais tarde ou mais cedo. Só se forem pedidos por uma mente pura é que podem aspirar a ser o "Desejo perfeito". Qualquer um com o dom pode atingir esta meta, mas demora muito tempo a isso se cumprir. E pelos caminhos estão muitos obstáculos.

5 - Como é que a criação de personagens ajuda a definir o jogo?
Os jogadores criam personagens em conjunto, partilhando os pormenores das suas personagens com os outros de modo a haver uma melhor interacção durante as sessões. Para mim este é um dos pontos nevrálgicos do sistema, pois tenho a hipótese de criar personagens com um sistema genérico de RPG, ou focar só nos dilemas das personagens (superar medos e receios, conquistar calma interior, crescer espiritualmente). Uma abordagem é muito racional, enquanto que a outra é mais filosófica. De certeza que farei um post dedicado a este assunto.

6 - Que tipo de comportamentos/estilos de jogo é que o jogo recompensa (ou penaliza se necessario)?
As recompensas são dadas por cumprir os objectivos das personagens, tanto a curto como a longo prazo. O objectivo final é conhecimento pessoal suficiente para que desejar algo não traga uma calamidade. Esta é a parte pessoal que o jogador deve aspirar. A parte externa é participar à altura desejada quando é preciso, durante a resolução de conflitos. 

7 - Como são recompensados os comportamentos e estilos de jogo?
Estou a pensar em deixar os jogadores recompensarem-se uns aos outros por darem bons dilemas/complicações/efeitos colaterais uns aos outros. Quanto melhor a participação, mais estará em jogo. A ideia primário é algo no género do fan-mail de PTA.

8 - Como são divididas as responsabilidades de narração e credibilidade?
A narração estará ao cargo do Wishmaster (GM), mas a resolução e consequências das situações são decididas pelos jogadores. Por exemplo, quando alguém tenta realizar um Desejo, esse jogador formula-o, depois outro jogador diz resumidamente as complicações do Desejo, e outro os efeitos colaterais possíveis. Tendo em conta estas três informações, e dependendo do resultado dos dados, o Wishmaster vai depois narrar a resolução do Desejo. Logo a narração fica ao encargo do Wishmaster enquanto que a credibilidade fica ao encargo dos jogadores.

9 - O que faz o jogo para apanhar a atenção, participação e ligação dos jogadores?
Todos os conflitos são resolvidos por mais do que o jogador envolvido e o Wishmaster, por isso todos estarão interessados no que se passa. Cada jogador tem responsabilidades acrescidas para além do seu personagem, visto que vai ser responsável pelas complicações nas acções do jogador à sua esquerda, e dos efeitos colaterais do jogador à sua direita. Deste modo é garantido que vai participar nas decisões dos jogadores adjacentes.

10 - Como é a mecânica de resolução de conflitos do jogo?
Ainda não está definida pois para mim é o passo mais difícil. Gostava de levar o meu conceito de resolução com 3 jogadores a todo o tipo de acções, mas estou a ver que só se poderá aplicar aos desejos. Como quero deixar as coisas na simplicidade, preferia resolução cinemática à instantânea. Um roll para resolver a situação toda e não só um aspecto dela. Ajuda os jogadores a perderem menos tempo com os conflitos e mais com a história em mãos.

11 - Como é que a mecânica de resolução reforça a identidade do jogo?
A falta de controlo que um jogador tem ao fazer um Desejo é retratante do dilema presente no jogo. Ter dois jogadores a tentarem fazer com que as coisas corram mal enquanto é só um que deseja faz com que o conflito seja mais vivido por todos. Quanto às restantes situações ainda estou a decidir se vou manter esse formato ou não.

12 - As personagens evoluem durante o jogo? Se sim, como?
Sim, evoluem no sentido de ficarem melhores a pedirem Desejos. Se calhar isto é suficiente, mas se não for pode-se sempre introduzir um sistema de competências básicas para o desafio do dia-a-dia. Em cada sessão será atribuida experiência que pode ser gasta em diversos aspectos da personagem. 

13 - Como é que a evolução das personagens reforça a identidade do jogo?
Esta pergunta é um pouco matreira, pois se digo que há só pontuações dependentes do facto de se Desejar, limito muito o jogo. Mas é essa a ideia vigente. Os jogadores sobem as suas competências mentais e espirituais que lhes permitem estar mais à vontade no mundo para pedir Desejos.

14 - Que tipo de efeito ou sentimento quer produzir nos jogadores?
O meu objectivo é criar algo que desenvolva o espírito de grupo em sessões de RPGs. Criar um ambiente em que todos possam ter uma voz no que se está a passar, e poderem influenciar essa situação. Quero que os jogadores saiam da sessão satisfeitos por terem feito um boa história para todos e não só para si próprios. Que tenham o prazer de estragar os planos dos outros ou ajudá-los neles, mesmo que as suas personagens não sejam para lá chamadas.

15 - Que áreas do jogo é que recebem particular atenção e cor? Porquê?
Sem dúvida alguma a parte de formulação de Desejos vai merecer especial atenção, visto ser a central do jogo. A temática dos Desejos será igualmente importante, pois espero dar liberdade aos jogadores quanto à fonte dos seus desejos. 

16 - Em que parte do jogo é que estou mais interessado ou excitado? Porquê?
Estou mais interessado em desenvolver um sistema que crie uma interacção saudável entre os jogadores e muito mais activa que o costume. Quero incluir todos os jogadores quando algo se vai decidir/rolar. Porquê? Porque hoje em dia acho que há demasiados jogos que promovem um tipo de jogo individualista, que é prejudicial para o ambiente de jogo em grupo. Espero com este jogo ajudar grupos a reforçarem o espírito de equipa e de participação na sessão.

17 - Onde é que o jogo leva os jogadores que os outros jogos não levem/possam levar/consigam?
Este jogo leva os jogadores a um mundo onde podem ter o que quer que seja, mas com consequências. Outros jogos prometem poder supremo mas só cumprem a promessa depois de muito tempo. Este jogo dá isso logo no início, e depois cria o conflito de aprender a usar o poder ou se realmente ele é desejado. Outra coisa que faz é promover a participação de todos (ou quase todos) os jogadores durante as cenas. Não é por ser uma cena privada que só um jogador possa jogar e os outros ficarem a olhar. Nesse sentido o jogo torna-se muito mais social, mas faz com que os jogadores se esforcem para não usar os conhecimentos off-character quando jogam in-character.

18 - Quais os objectivos de publicação do jogo?
De momento nenhuns, mas se provar ser um sucesso durante playtest, e se tiver gente suficiente interessada, poderei compilar um pdf com as regras, setting e textos relacionados. Se vir que isso não é suficiente, talvez mande imprimir algumas cópias em papel (é bonito sonhar!)

19 - Qual a audiência-alvo do jogo?
Pretendo atingir todos os que gostam de criar histórias em conjunto, e que se preocupem tanto com as suas personagens como com as dos outros. A preocupação principal é criar a história e não ultrapassar só o desafio imediato. Ao tentar fazer um sistema simples, tento também atingir a faixa de novos jogadores que se estão a iniciar no mundo de RPGs. Espero não criar algo demasiado esotérico e filosófico que nem toda a gente consiga entender.

[Wish] Demonstração

Reservo este espaço para ir colocando informação durante a próxima semana para compilar uma sessão de teste do sistema. Aqui ficam os tópicos.

Título: Fuga para a Liberdade

Ambiente: Medieval (Idade das Trevas)
Temática: Suspense/Investigação

Enquadramento: As personagens são gente comum da vila feudal de Alcaria, cada uma com a sua ocupação independente das outras personagens. Num dado Domingo, no final da missa que assistiram, elas ficam para trás e presenciam um milagre. A cruz de Cristo Ilumina-se e chora sangue. As outras pessoas que lá estão, padre incluido, nada vêm. As personagens durante a noite têm sonhos estranhos, e quando se levantam no dia seguinte, a vida parece correr-lhes excepcionalmente bem. Quando tentam ir falar com o padre da vila, ele encontra-se ocupado com outro membro do clero em robes negras. O padre fica muito atrapalhado e manda-os embora, não sem o misterioso monge olhar bem cada um de alto a baixo. Ao por do sol, cada personagem nota que uma figura escondida os está a seguir.

Cena Um: Encarcerados e Interrogados

 

Cena Dois: Fuga das catacumbas

 

Cena Três: Luz ao fundo do túnel 

 

[Wish] Demonstração (Personagens)

Personagens para o cenário Fuga para a Liberdade

Simeão Pinelo - Guarda da vila, solteirão inveterado; 39 anos.
Protector dedicado esconde um passado de insucesso como polícia da aldeia. Após tomar algumas más decisões durante assaltos e perseguições, colocaram-no num posto de guarda. Ele parece estar bem ambientado ao posto, tentando expiar as falhas anteriores. Ocasionalmente cai em depressão e embebeda-se no restaurante de Genoveva, acabando por ter de ser carregado aos ombros por colegas de profissão.
Relações com os outros personagens: Simpatia por Filipe por este ocupar uma posição que antes era dele; medo de Genoveva por ter uma conta enorme no restaurante dela, e ela ainda não ter cobrado; desconfiança de Alberto por ele ser vendedor itinerante e de pouca confiança; respeito por Constança, filha do seu chefe.

Educação: Moço de recados distraído 1
Profissão: Guarda dedicado 3
Lazer: Caminhante amador 2

Consciência: 2 - Desejo 3 - Confiança 4

 

Filipe Quintão - Moço de recados; 11 anos
Orfão de pai, viu-se obrigado a procurar emprego para ajudar a sustentar a casa. Sobrinho de Alberto, aprendeu alguns truques com o tio, o que lhe permite trazer mais dinheiro para casa do que traria se estivesse só a fazer recados. Anteriormente filho de uma família burguesa, tem uma mãe muito protectora, D.Amélia, que é dama de companhia de D.Constança.
Relações com os outros personagens: Medo de Simeão por algum dia ser apanhado a roubar; pena de Genoveva de todas as coisas que já roubou do seu restaurante; admiração por Alberto, seu tio, que tanto lhe ensinou e que ele vê quase como um segundo pai; respeito por D.Constança, ícone das boas maneiras da vila.

Educação: Menino da mamã 2
Profissão: Moço de recados dedicado 1
Lazer: Ladrão amador 3

Consciência: 4 - Desejo: 3 - Confiança: 2

 

Genoveva Afonso - Dona de restaurante; 46 anos
Dona do único restaurante da vila, uma tasca com pratos do dia, herdou o negócio do pai após o resto da família ter emigrado. Sempre teve ambições de casar com um nobre rico, mas após o negócio contentou-se sendo uma dama de companhia dos nobres da vila.
Relações com os outros personagens: Compaixão por Simeão, um homem apanhado pelas ruas da amargura sem mulher nem apoio; apreensão por Filipe, por ele ser criança e ela se rever nele, forçado a trabalhar para ajudar a família; desconfiança por Alberto, que parece trazer problemas para onde vai; Inveja secreta de D. Constança, por ela poder ter tudo o que Genoveva sempre quis mas não o aproveitar devidamente.

Educação: Empregada de mesa forçada 1
Profissão: Empresária independente 3
Lazer: Dama de companhia coscuvilheira 2

Consciência: 3 - Desejo: 3 - Confiança: 3

 

Alberto Carrapeto - Vendedor ambulante; 29 anos
Caixeiro viajante por fora, nobre traído por dentro, Alberto vê o mundo como se todos lhe devessem e ninguém lhe pagasse. Em tempos conseguiu ascender a nobre num vila vizinha, mas os seus sócios de negócio traíram-no e deixaram-lhe as dividas todas. Eludindo a guarda local, fugiu e assumiu uma nova identidade, um mágico itinerante que analisa as vitimas antes de as burlar.
Relações com os outros personagens: Desconfiança de Simeão, por ele ser guarda local e uma ameaça aos seus negócios; amor por Filipe, que ele vê como o filho que nunca teve e que tem tanto potencial para seguir as suas passadas; pena por Genoveva já que ela é uma das poucas pessoas na vila que faz algum negócio de onde se possa tirar algum dinheiro, e ela já está marcada como próximo alvo; luxúria por Constança, pois ela tem tudo o que ele teve, e se considerar assentar na vila, é com ela que ele se deve dar.

Educação: Nobre na miséria 2
Profissão: Burlão Impiedoso 1
Lazer: Mágico Amador 3

Consciência: 2 - Desejo: 4 - Confiança: 3

 

Constança Almeida - Dama local; 35 anos
Viúva nobre, filha do homem mais rico da cidade. Constança foi educada para ser uma senhora, casar com alguém rico e com ele herdar o património do pai, mas um acidente deixou-a viúva sem filhos e sem esperança para a sucessão da família. Ela passou de dona de casa extremosa para secretária do pai, onde o ajuda em tudo o que pode. Hoje em dia, com o declínio da saúde do pai, ela manda e decide tanto quanto o seu pai, mas continua a sentir-se incompleta com a falta de uma família.
Relações com os outros personagens: Desprezo por Simeão, um mero guarda que tanta vez arranja desacatos por estar embriagado; repulsa por Filipe que vê como sendo a antítese do que ela foi quando criança; respeito por Genoveva já que são conhecidas e esta é uma bem sucedida mulher de negócios; medo de Alberto, pois ele já lhe mostrou as suas verdadeiras cores e ela agora encontra-se sem saber o que fazer com ele.

Educação: Criança Prodígio 3
Profissão: Secretária dedicada 2
Lazer: Contadora de histórias 1

Consciência: 3 - Desejo: 2 - Confiança: 4

[Wish] Folha de Personagem

É com orgulho que ponho aqui a Folha de Personagem do jogo.
Tive um brainstorming valente e desenvolvi uma versão alpha da mecânica de jogo, o que me permitiu criar também a Folha.

Explicação das diferentes estatísticas:

Educação - formação da personagem enquanto crescia/cresce. Resume rapidamente as habilidades e vivências da personagem nessa altura.
Profissão - o que a personagem faz da vida, ou se está a formar. Resume as competências de um determinado emprego ou inclinação profissional.
Lazer - o que a personagem faz nos seus tempos livres, de uma maneira mais ou menos séria. Resume apetências da personagem aprendidas nos tempos livres.

Consciência - pontuação ligada estritamente ao jogador à esquerda, aquele que define os efeitos colaterais. Quanto maior, menos interferência esse jogador fará.
Desejo - poder de desejar, pontuação básica para pedir desejos e fazer com que eles corram o melhor possível.
Confiança - pontuação ligada directamente com o jogador à direita, aquele que define as complicações do Desejo. Quanto maior for, menos complicações haverá no desejo.

Serão distribuídos entre Educação, Profissão e Lazer três valores: 1, 2 e 3. Cada uma será descrita com um nome e um adjectivo (policia dedicado, por exemplo). Durante uma situação em que as apetências não cheguem mas se apliquem, um jogador pode gastar um quadrado para ter sucesso nessa situação. O jogador justifica o gasto, e se o Wishmaster aceitar a justificação a personagem consegue cumprir a acção.
Serão distribuídos 6 pontos entre Consciência, Desejo e Confiança. Quando alguém pede um desejo, forma um monte de dados igual à sua pontuação de Desejo. O jogador à esquerda cria um monte de dados igual a 6 menos a pontuação de Consciência do desejador, e o jogador à direita faz o mesmo mas usando Confiança. Por isso, se um jogador distribuir 2 ponto por cada aspecto do desejo, os 3 jogadores rolaram 3 dados cada, por exemplo.

Isto ainda está muito cru, eu sei. Mas é um principio para voos mais altos!

Que todos os vossos desejos se realizem...!

AnexoTamanho
Wish FdP.pdf22.29 KB