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Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


I'm pretty sure the 16 and 14 were editing errors, and not something anyone thought was okay.

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
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2014-2018



Dice say Cradle and Crescent!

Ars Magica 5th Edition: Cradle and Crescent

Since we've got the basics of Islam out of the way, let's mention some demons who've made the while Christian/Muslim conflict worse: the Unholy Trinity, demons whom Christians believe Muslims worship. The first is Mahound, a parody of prophets who has immense ears to mock the fact that prophets hear revelations. Termagant is second, a hideous hag who spits venom and has jagged claws for fingernails. Third is Apollyon, a hunchbacked, ugly parody of Apollo who drips with acid. These demons seek to cause hostility between Christians and Muslims. Fun!

Anyway, let's talk history. The Middle East was once ruled by Babylon and Assyria, whose lands stretched from the Fertile Crescent to Syria and the Holy Land. The ancient Mesopotamians were pagans who worshipped fairie gods. However, these gods proved their downfall in 539 BC, when the Babylonian King Belshazzar angered God by drinking from the sacred vessels of the Temple of Jerusalem, which his ancestor Nebuchadnezzar had sacked. Three days later, his empire was overthrown by Cyrus the Great, who had united Persia under Zoroastrianism and become an instrument of the Divine wrath. Cyrus and his successors rule until the late 4th century BC, when they are conquered and overthrown by Alexander the Great. After his death in 323 BC, the Middle East comes under the rule of one of his generals, the founder of the Seleucid Dynasty that ruled until the Roman conquest and the invasion of the Parthians of Persia in the second century BC. From there, the Middle East was divided between the Romans (and later the Byzantines) and the Persian Parthians (and later the Sassanids). So it remained until the 7th century AD.

In 610 AD, an Arab merchant by the name of Muhammad received divine revelation. His message was not well-received in Mecca, home to the pagan shrine of the Ka'ba, and he was forced to flee with his followers to Medina in 622. He fought and defeated the Meccans in an eight-year war, and in 630, they surrendered and the Ka'ba was converted to an Islamic shrine, for it was originally built by angels, then rebuilt by Adam and later Abraham with the aid of Ishmael, the ancestor of the Arabs. Islam spread through the Arabian Peninsula, and by Muhammad's death in 632, most Arabs were Muslim.

Muhammad was succeed by the khalifas, or caliphs, who were both secular and religious rulers, though not prophets. The first four were chosen by general consensus. 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, the last of the four, spent his reign fighting enemies among the Muslim community, and eventually died to assassination. He was succeeded by his foe, Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan, the founder of the Umayyad Dynasty, based from Damascus. They ruled from Damascus for nearly a century, expanding the Muslim world into North Africa, Spain, Central Asia and India. Arabic became the language of government, uniform coinage was made and scholars debated law and theology. However, the supporters of 'Ali continued to assert that his line should be caliphs, due to his bloodline as cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad. They gradually became the Shi'is, a number of whom would rebel against the Umayyads. Other opposition came from those who felt the Umayyads were impious and illegitimate. EVentually, they were displaced in 750 by a family descended from an uncle of the Prophet, the Abbasids.

The Abbasids built a capital in Iraq, Baghdad, which became the center of a Muslim golden age. It is in this time that the legendary Harun al-Rashid ruled, exchanging embassies with Charlemagne. Many of his subjects converted to Islam, though it would be three centuries before the Muslims were the majority of the subjects of the Abbasids. Abbasid power declined in the mid-800s due to Shi'i rebellions and financial problems. OVer the next century, the Muslim world fragmented, with provinces becoming in essence autonomous states. In 945, the caliphs came under the thumb of their deputies, which lasted into the mid-12th century. In 1037, the Seljuk Turks under Togrul Beg invaded, controlling the Middle East by the 1050s. The caliph was little more than a figurehead for them. By 1157, however, the caliphate had regained enough power to drive the Seljuk sultan from Baghdad, and an uneasy truce between the secular Sultan and the religious Caliph was instituted. The Seljuks' fall was accelerated by the Shansabani rebellion of 1149 and the Ghuzz uprising of 1151. Ala ad-Din Tekish of Khwarazm capitalized on the Seljuk collapse after the death of Sultan Ahmed Sanjar, and eventually defeated his successor Togrul III in 1194. His son, Ala ad-Din Mohammed, defeated the Shansabani in 1206 and is now the ruler of an empire stretching from the Jaxartes river to the Persian Gulf, naming himself shah, Parsi for 'king'. The caliph of Baghdad has yet to recognize his claim.

The current caliph, al-Nasir, is a vigorous ruler over a much-reduced realm, controlling little more than Iraq, though he is nominally recognized by most Sunni rulers. By the end of al-Nasir's reign, the eastern Muslim world will be attacked by Genghis Khan, who has occupied the area east of Jaxartes. By Genghis Khan's death in 1227, they will occupy as far as eastern Persia. In 1258, they will take Baghdad, where they will roll the caliph up in a carpet and trample him to death. They are stopped only in 1260, when a Mamluk army from Egypt stops their advance in Syria.

But you're not here about mundane history! You care about magic! Magi have long whispered about the dangers of the Arabian wizards, the so-called Order of Suleiman that seeks to ruin the Order of Hermes. Some believe such stories were started by Flambeau the Founder, who hated Muslims, or others who opposed the Iberian Muslim wizards joining House Ex Miscellanea. Anyway, the idea of an organized group of Arabian wizards is common among magi. It is also correct. The Order of Suleiman, however, is not what they fear it is. The Order of Suleiman is made of sahirs, mostly unGifted summoners who perform magic of vague similarity to the Hermetics. Their problems with the Hermetics are fairly recent, and for most of their history they've been an insular group with little interest in lands outside their own. It is only since the Crusades began that they have turned outwards.

Sahirs claim their power originates with King Solomon of Israel, who commanded hordes of jinn and spirits, could speak with animals and had magical devices of great power. It is said by sahirs that he learned these secrets from Al-Khidr, the Green Man, who taught Moses, traveled with Alexander the Great and gained immortality by drinking the Water of Life. The Art of Solomon was not lost to time, but practiced in secret. Over time it was corrupted, and some say the Infernal version of this power was spread by the angels Harut and Marut as a test of mankind's faith. Other traditions developed to command the elements, animals and nature, such as the Zoroastrian magic of the priests. And with the rise of Islam, magic was regained - some say that Al-Khidr taught the Art of Solomon to the caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib, who certainly was friendly to magicians.

Under the Umayyads, a trio of summoners swore loyalty to the caliphate, gaining the official title of 'wazir', which at the time meant 'bearer of magic in service to the caliph.' At first, they were no more trusted than most, possibly less. However, as the Umayyads expanded, they encountered other magicians of great power, and the wazirs became quite valuable, for their spirits were able to resist magic. Because the foreign wizards served the armies of the enemy, it became essential for the wazirs to train others. Soon, three wazirs became thirty. Thirty became a hundred or more. Their powers developed, learning to summon more than ghosts, but also jinn. With their help, the Umayyads defeated the foreign wizards and the enemy armies, conquering an immense empire. It is likely these wazir who spawned the early legends of the Order of Suleiman.

However, the callousness of the wazirs toward their jinn was their downfall. Many jinn are Muslim, and to enslave them is against the Qur'an. This turned the supernatural realms against them, and by 720 AD, they were too busy defending against attacks from spirits to do anything else, and this was one of the leading factors in halting the Umayyad advance. The caliphs, of course, were furious, but did not blame the wazirs, but the people. This led to rebellions - and worse, the spirits did not attack commoners, but the wazirs, forcing the caliphate to defend them. In 746, it is said that a hundred jinn or more laid siege to Damascus demanding the two wazirs within, and halting a defense against Abbasid armies. After many such actions, the population of summoners was drastically reduced, and the techniques of summoning died out on all but the fringes of the empire.

The Umayyads broke apart and the Abbasids took over. One of their greatest was Harun al-Rashid. His mother, Al-Khayzuran, was Yemeni and skilled in the magic of enchanting music and stories. At her behest, the caliph agreed to assemble a council of wizards to advise on mystical matters, though he preferred thinkers to magical warriors. The head of this council was his grand vizier, Yahya ibn Khalid, or Yahya the Barmakid, an unGifted scholar of elixirs and potions and the former tutor of the caliph. He wrote to the finest minds, inviting them to this "Solomonic" council. Five great men joined Yahya and Al-Khayzuran.

First was Jabir ibn Hayyan, a summoner, alchemist and scholar possessed of a remarkably gentle Gift. He was a master of the art of Sihr, which he learned from one of the few surviving Umayyad summoners. He was responsible for discovering how to incorporate the council's magic into a greater whole. Second was Muhammad al-Fazari, a philosopher and astrologer as well as author of many magical texts. His father Ibrahim is said to have transformed himself into a spirit to watch over his son, and it was al-Fazari who was first shown (by his father) how to initiate himself and other unGifted sahirs into magic. Third was the Nestorian Christian and Persian doctor Bakhtyshu, whose father had served the last caliph. He was the only non-Muslim on the council, and was invited only provisionally, but later proved his worth by exorcising a potent demon. He is said to have known the True Names of many spirits. Fourth was Al-Zill Habib, the Beloved Shadow, a popular highwayman who led revolts against the Umayyads and had many followers, even jinn and yatus. He is said to have been related to Al-Khayzuran, but he was always cloaked and hid his face, even when alone. Last was Al-Hajjaj, or Al-Majnun, the Madman. He was a poet and mathematician who had strange visions and claimed to have been taught by Al-Khidr, as well as having gone to the Magic Realm to drink the Water of Life. He never aged past 25, and none knew when he was born.

Together, the council made a common language of magic, inventing the five Solomonic Arts, at which each excelled in one area. Al-Khayzuran died mysteriously in 789, and soon after, Yahya retired and left his Gifted son Ja'far to be grand vizier and head of the council. Harun moved his palace, and soon Ja'far was his only contact with the wizards. As Harun's power increased, he became mistrustful of Ja'far, and sought out other advisors, including, it is said, a Hermetic magus named Christopher Coronus from the court of Charlemagne, a Sufi holy man named Fozail-e Iyaz and an eastern miracle worker named Dawud al-Kharita. Under their influence, Harun began to resent the power of the Barmakids and ceased to consult with Ja'far in private.

Rumor had it that Ja'far was a wicked and evil sorcerer who craved the caliph's throne, as his Gift made others naturally hate him. He begged Harun's sister, whom he loved, to speak to Harun on his behalf, but when she did, Dawud accused Ja'far of enchanting her, and as punishment Ja'far was executed and the rest of his family imprisoned or killed. Of course, other stories say all the rumors were true, and that Ja'far was too ambitious and had indeed enchanted Harun's sister. In any case, the five remaining Council members became afraid and unsure, worrying that their alliance would die with them. They decided to travel in secret to where Yahya was imprisoned, to get his advice. He advised them to form their own organization, independent of the caliphate, for they were too vulnerable to politics serving Harun directly.

They named this new alliance the Suhhar Sulayman, the Summoners of Solomon, and developed a plan for it to prosper. They begged Harun for permission to form this order, and once convinced they were not plotting against him, he allowed it, so long as the sahirs who belonged continued to serve him as loyal subjects. Several councillors retained court positions, and this may be why the Suhhar continues to use 'vizier' and 'grand vizier' as titles. In the years that followed, the Suhhar flourished, welcoming many to the fold. The house in Baghdad where they were formed became a grand academy, the Bayt al-Hikma, and a golden age of magic was born. Even when the caliphate fractured, they remained strong, with schools all over the Middle East and an annual gathering of representatives.

The Iberian sahirs stopped coming in 912, and by 919 the Baghdad sahirs stopped trying to get them to come. The Iberians met on their own until 925, when they joined the Order of Hermes. There has been no real contact with them since. In the mid-900s, the Fatimids drove many sahirs out of North Africa and Egypt with the aid of Berber sorcerers whom the sahirs' spirits could not defeat. This greatly reduced the Suhhar's lands to just Egypt, Arabia and Persia. They remained potent, but introspective, advancing to the modern tradition that they are now. However, this time of peace was interrupted when the sahir Hassan-i Sabbah murdered the grand vizier. He was an assassin of the Nizari Isma'ili sect, and he fled to their Persian stronghold in the mountains, where he taught others the secrets of Solomonic magic, creating a rival Nizari organization of sahirs that has continued to harass the Suhhar.

There was occasional outside contact - the Suhhar had long been aware that Hermetics existed, after all, and they know of the Zoroastrian priesthood of Persia, but relations were always strained. The Berber wizards did not encroach further after driving the sahirs from North Africa, so no contact there. By the end of the 11th century, they had become pure introverts. That changed with the Crusades. When the Europeans sieged Antioch and Jerusalem, the sahirs were enraged. A few tried to fight at Tyre, but most of the Suhhar was not prepared at all. They overreacted, trying to seize control of the supernatural and spying on the European wizards. They were shocked to discover that most were immune to Solomonic magic, just as spirits, caliphs and holy men were. Others attacked and learned this firsthand, quickly being defeated and often killed.

The sahirs decided that, clearly, the invaders had the Divine on their side, and Jerusalem was rightfully theirs. However, one of leaders of the five Solomonic families, the Asala al-Sakhr, declared that the invaders were instead aided by Infernal power, and led a strong anti-crusader movement. The Suhhar remained publically uninvolved but many sahirs fought the Crusaders or taught soldiers the Solomonic arts. The Suhhar relaxed restrictions on fair treatment of non-Muslim spirits, and agreed that the Order of Hermes crusading magi were enemies of Islam, authorizing retaliation. However, after the First Crusade, they worried about direct confrontation and instead taught magic to key leaders, helping to recapture Edessa and ending the Second Crusade.

There is an old tradition among the Suhhar of appearing as a nameless wise man and offering to teach magic, which is seen as an honorable way to involve the sahirs in politics without committing te Suhhar itself. When Nur ad-Din and Saladin rose to prominence, they were "sent a guide", as the tradition is called, though Nur ad-Din revealed that he already knew magic and had no desire to join the Suhhar, for Al-Khidr himself had taught him. Saladin just refused the guide without explanation, and the sahirs had to aid him without his consent. In 1220, the Suhhar Sulayman is still fighting the Crusaders, including Hermetics who help them. They still gather yearly in Baghdad, but the conflict is rarely discussed. Plans are in motion for an attack on the Christian forces in the Levant, a counter-crusade of sorts, and they have been gathering intelligence on the Order of Hermes so they may, hopefully, strike them at their weakest point and drive them from Muslim lands. To this end, the sahirs have made it clear that Hermetics are welcome in their lands, where they can be watched carefully without their knowledge and more quickly found when the time comes to attack. The Suhhar now studies their foes in earnest, for they are still at war - and they will not lose.

Next time: Life among the Suhhar.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


Mr. Maltose posted:

I'm pretty sure the 16 and 14 were editing errors, and not something anyone thought was okay.

Maybe, but I just double checked and the Planar Shepherd hasn't been errataed yet, and as long as that exists it will always be the most broken druid prestige class.

I can't wait to see the reactions to that one.

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012


I'm going to add to the vote for Cradle and Crescent. Ars Magica seems to have writers that can manage to pull off a sourcebook on Islam without having an off-day White Wolf-style faceplant.

EDIT: Oh hey, it won without my help. Yay for writing a post while events happen.

Speaking of White Wolf, the following post has absolutely nothing to do with them, so this segue is pointless.



Weird War II Core Rules review, Part 2: Language
Chapter 3: Skills and Feats
Being a setting meant to take Dungeons and Dragons 3.0 into the world of the 1930s and 1940s, it shouldn't really be surprising that there are new skill and feat rules that need to be added on. This starts with a list of some changes to classic D&D skills. First off are restrictions - that is, some skills you can't even take cross-class ranks in, they are locked to a specific class and you just have to deal with it. Alchemy, Scry, and Use Magic Item can only be used by characters with the OSI Adept prestige class (prestige classes won't be seen until chapter 6), Knowledge (Arcana) can only be taken by individuals affiliated with the Office for Supernatural Inquiry, and Decipher Script requires either the OSI Adept prestige class or OSI Operative prestige class (because god forbid the Resistance Fighter base class or the like get the ability to decode things). Second are new Knowledge skill subtypes, namely Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, Meteorology, Military, and Physics. And thirdly, there is the altered Speak Language. Oh my...


If you know your d20 system, Speak Language is usually a simple "take a rank (or two if it's a cross-class skill) to know how to speak a language". Weird War II instead has Speak Language have ranks like other skills. One rank gives you just a smattering of words in the language, two ranks lets you make simplistic sentences, three ranks lets you speak most average sentences, four ranks lets you speak with accented inflections, five ranks lets you speak the basic language flawlessly, and six ranks lets you mime specific regional accents and dialects of the language. You automatically get five ranks in your native language. Even better, if you have less than five ranks in a language, you have to make Speak Language checks to get your speech right. And speaking very slowly lets the guy you're speaking to make a Listen check that gives you a bonus to your Speak Language check if you succeed.


As for completely new skills, they are as follows.
  • Artillery: Instead of just making an attack roll, you instead make a check with this skill to hit with mortars and indirect fire weapons.
  • Combat Medicine: It's the Heal skill, only restricted to the Medic base class. Sorry if you thought you could take cross-class skill ranks in this to actually make yourself useful at something as critical as field dressing, Resistance Fighter!
  • Demolitions: The skill to either set explosives, disarm them, or guess how much of them you happen to need for a situation.
  • Driving: Self-explanatory.
  • Leadership: A skill specifically made for the Command feat (we'll get to that in a moment) and its effects.
  • Mechanics: The Weird War II name for a Repair-style skill.
  • Navigation: Reading a map or traveling by the stars.
  • Prayer: A check with this skill is made any time an OSI Chaplain wants to have a miracle happen. This won't be relevant until we get to the OSI Chaplain and other prestige classes in Chapter 6, so don't sweat trying to figure it out.


You may be wondering where the Pilot skill is to offset the Driving skill - it's World War Ii, after all. Well, you will have to wait for the Weird War II sourcebook Dead From Above for that.


Most of the feats are for proficiency in some sort of transport or weapon - Automatic Weapons Proficiency (submachine guns and automatic rifles), Firearms Proficiency, Flamethrower Proficiency, Gunnery Proficiency (artillery and vehicle-mounted weapons) Gyrostabilizer (you can't read the readouts of a tank's gyrostabilizers without it), Mortar Proficiency, Parachute Proficiency, Rocket Launcher Proficiency, Tracked Vehicle Proficiency, and Wheeled Vehicle Proficiency. What few other feats there are range from wasteful such as Eagle-Eyed (you get a +2 bonus to Listen and Spot checks...but only at 100 yards away or further. Why not just take Alertness for the same bonus at no range limit?) to actually somewhat useful ones such as Command (if you succeed on a Leadership roll, you can grant the soldiers under your command your Initiative modifier -1 rather than their own Initiative modifier, letting them all move together at a rate potentially higher than their foes).



Equipment
We'll be going over equipment rather quickly, as most of the actual rules for new types of weapon combat and vehicles don't appear until next chapter.
  • Pistols: Statistics are provided for the Browning HP, Colit M1911A1, Engielf N2 Mk1, Liberator M1942, M1917, Luger, civilian revolver, Walther PPK, Walther P38, and Webley Mk4 pistols. All deal 2d6 damage, some of them with a plus or minus of 1 or 2 to damage. Unlike Wizards of the Coast's d20 Modern firearms, which created a new special type of damage called Ballistic, firearms in Weird War II deal Piercing damage.
  • Submachine Guns: Stats are provided for the M1 Thompson, M3 Greasegun, MP35, MP40, and Sten. All do 2d6 damage, with the M1 Thompson and M3 Greasegun having a +2 bonus to their damage rolls.
  • Shotguns: The shotguns given are more generic than the other weapons: the single barrel, double barrel, sawed-off single barrel, and sawed-off double barrel. In spite of being simplistic in their names, they are so in rules and variable damage dice that we will just wait until the combat chapter to get into that quagmire.
  • Rifles: Stats are given for the De Lisle carbine, Gewehr 43, KAR-98K, M1, M1 Carbine, M1903A3, M1903A4, N.4 Lee-Enfield, and civilian rifle. The De Lisle carbine deals 2d6+2 damage, while all the others deal 2d8.
  • Machine Guns: You get the Sturmgewehr 44, BAR, Bren gun, M1919A4, M1919A6, M2, MG34, MG42, and Vickers guns. The Sturmgewehr 44 deals 2d8-1 and the M2 deals 2d10 damage, while the rest deal 2d8.
  • Hand Grenades and Explosives Lots of things that go boom, with the AN-M9, Bangalore torpedo, stick of dynamite, Geballte Ladung, N.23 MkII, M9A1 rifle grenade, MkII Pineapple grenade, Molotov cocktail, Panzerwurfmin, plastic explosive, small satchel charge, large satchel charge, Schiessbecher AT, Schiessbecher HE, Stielhandgranate 24, Stielhandgranate 24 with spliterringe, smoke bomb, and a charge of TNT. These are probably the most widely varying weapons, ranging from non-damaging smoke with the AN-M8 and smoke bomb and 4d6 with a stick of dynamite to a brutal 10d10 for a large satchel charge.
  • Rocket Launchers: We get the bazooka, Panzerschreck, Panzerfaust 30, Panzerfaust 60, and PIAT. They range from 5d8 to 7d8 in damage, but the oddest thing is the type of damage they deal: a mixture of piercing and fire. I dunno if I'd really classify rocket launchers as fiery, but whatever.
  • Flamethrowers: The Flammenwerfer, MkI flamethrower, and Lifebuoy all deal 4d10 fire damage but vary by rane and weight.
  • Melee Weapons: If you need something more blunt and don't happen to have more archaic weapons, stats are provided for a rifle butt strike, bayonet, entrenching tool, and garrote.
  • Antitank Guns and Antiaircraft Gun I'm not even going to try to list these, as the table around them becomes a huge clusterfuck.
  • Landmines: These are the antipersonnel mine, antitank mine, and S-Mine 44. Why they weren't listed back in the section on grenades and explosives is beyond me.
  • Mortars: The 2-inch mortar, 3-inch mortal, 60mm mortar, 81mm mortar, Granatewerfer 34, and Granatewerfer 36 are provided for those who want to make things blow up. They have a burst radius and deal piercing/fire damage like rocket launchers.
  • Equipment: For non-weapons, equipment varies from medical kits and survival kits to rations and canteens. They are all equally mundane. Oddly enough, the only three pieces of armor - the flak jacket, steel helmet, and tanker helmet - are placed here, and only have a weight and Armor Class bonus rather than any of the further marks that are usually used for D&D armor.
  • Vehicles: Some trucks and tanks from Germany, the UK, and the USA. Wee.

-------------------------------------------------------

Next time: the combat rules and prestige classes chapters, wherein shotgun enthusiasts will probably cry.

Fossilized Rappy fucked around with this message at 23:49 on May 17, 2013

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Mr. Maltose posted:

I'm pretty sure the 16 and 14 were editing errors, and not something anyone thought was okay.
Check the Monster Manual and the Bite of the Were[X] spells for confirmation, but I believe the original bonuses were what you'd get as racial stat bonuses for being a lycanthrope of the given sort.

Also, it's kinda funny how broken Planar Shepherd is. You'd think they didn't playtest it or something!

Erebro
Apr 28, 2013


AmiYumi posted:

You must admit, like 90% of that is thanks to DOCTOR WEST.

Guilty as charged.

Unfortunately, he cannot make everything better, as he coming into contact with CTech would have the same effect as antimatter and matter. Not that the world is worse off for CTech being completely converted into a massive explosion, but it would convert him as well.

Anyway, enough plugging from me, back to Ars Magica.

It's good to see that they were aware the Caliphate existed, and for including Jafar as a bad guy. He was cool in Disney, he's even cooler here.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
2014-2018



Leliel the 12th posted:

Guilty as charged.

Unfortunately, he cannot make everything better, as he coming into contact with CTech would have the same effect as antimatter and matter. Not that the world is worse off for CTech being completely converted into a massive explosion, but it would convert him as well.

Anyway, enough plugging from me, back to Ars Magica.

It's good to see that they were aware the Caliphate existed, and for including Jafar as a bad guy. He was cool in Disney, he's even cooler here.

It's actually very unclear in the text whether Ja'far the Barmakid was actually a horrible person or was just painted as one because of the Gift. It is a mystery of the past, and we shall never truly know, because he died something like 400 years before start of play. His dad, Yahya, however, was pretty clearly a cool dude in Ars Magica-verse.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


I've learned more history from Mors Rattus' write-ups than I ever did in school.

The Muslim wizards sound awesome, and I'd love to play one if I could do it without being insensitive. There's a great Sandman issue about Haroun al-Rashid.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


To be fair, the Ars Magica books rank in probably the top 5 most researched RPGs ever. When they say Mythic Europe, they mean it.

Arashiofordo3
Nov 5, 2010

Warning, Internet
may prove lethal.


I'm just amazed at how fast Mors Rattus is getting each writeup out!

Hey Mors, which of the expansion books would you recommend to a first time Ars Magica player? I've got the core book (because of your write ups), but is there any others in particular you think I should check out?

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Kurieg posted:



What is going on here. No seriously, what is that behind him?

That is obviously a devious pit trap but with grinders instead of spikes.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Cooked Auto posted:

That is obviously a devious pit trap but with grinders instead of spikes.

Or some grisly Dragon Below trap/machine.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



Cythereal posted:

Or some grisly Dragon Below trap/machine.

Or some sort of House Cannith disposal pit in an abandoned Creation Forge. Eberron rules!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Re: Most important books, I'd say the Houses of Hermes books to get a clear idea of what each House is really about and like, and The Mysteries Revised, since mystery cults are a big part of the game - they're the only way to get Virtues permanently, really, after character generation.

Ars Magica 5th Edition: Cradle and Crescent


The Ashab al-Sakhr, the Followers of the Stone, are the fist of the five Families. They specialize in Solomonic Alchemy, and descend from the tradition of Jabir ibn Hayyan, the only Gifted member of the First Council. They are most commonly found in Damascus, and are the center of the counter-Crusade that the Suhhar now prepares for. They are typically very unfriendly to Europeans, and often especially pious Muslims. Very, very few non-Muslims belong to this Family. They are seen as noble, in a sense, and value their personal honor quite highly. Many prefer swords to magic for battle, or swords enhanced by magic.


The Ashab al-Najm, the Followers of the Star, are the masters of Solomonic Astrology. Many descend from a small group of Zoroastrians who studied under Al-Khwarizmi, the student of Al-Fazari. They established a school in Nasibin and many places in Persia. They are the most widespread Family, and the ones that most look like arcane masters, dressing as wizards or, at least, scholars. They believe it is important to encourage the grand reputation of magic, even when using it to serve, lest others cease to value it.


The Ashab al-Yad, the Followers of the Hand, are specialists in Solomonic Physic. The first were all members of the Bakhtyshu family of Gundeshapur, Persia. They founded the House of Healing there, and most were Nestorian Christians. Muslims, Jews and pagans have also joined this Family, and their reputation among the Suhhar has always been somewhat poor due to their easy acceptance of outsiders. There are more non-Muslims among the Ashab al-Yad than any other Family. They are seen as somewhat sinister, able to heal but also to harm, so no one is ever quite sure how they will respond.


The Ashab al-Qalb, the Followers of the Heart, descend in theory from Al-Zill Habib, but they generally regard Al-Khayzuran as their spiritual founder, for so little is known of Al-Zill. They have remained in Baghdad, focusing on Solomonic Storytelling, and it is most often that the Suhhar's Grand Vizier is one of the al-Qalb. They are generally very political, and spend much time dealing with supernatural beings, even more than other sahir. They only rarely have the Gift, and there are more women in the Ashab al-Qalb than in any other House.


The Ashab al-Nahr, the Followers of the River, specialize in Solomonic Travel. Early sahirs often ignored its power, for few understood the power of the supernatural realms. Two generations after Al-Hajjaj, however, a man named Ibn Wahshiyya deciphered many secrets of those realms from the writings of the ancient Egyptians, singlehandedly revitalizing the Art and the Family. They are based out of Cairo, and are known for eccentricity. Both Al-Hajjaj and Ibn Wahshiyya were famous for their passion and eventual madness, after all.


The Ashab al-Halqa, the Followers of the Circle, have no specialty, generally focus more on pure summoning than a Solomonic Art. They are not a true Family; rather, the Iberian sahirs often called themselves the Ashab al-Halqa, in reference to the outer circle of the pentacle that forms the Seal of Solomon. The term is still used to define those sahirs who are aligned with no Family. Most Gifted or self-taught sahirs are unaligned, preferring to remain apart.

The Suhhar Sulayman's laws are fairly simple, in theory. To join, you must be able to summon a spirit. That is the only criteria. Because of Al-Khayzuran and Bakhtyshu, no restrictions were placed on women or non-Muslims joining. Every sahir must donate one quarter of their wealth to the Suhhar, which will be used to spread knowledge in their communities. They also laid down the law for dealing with spirits: no thinking, feeling spirit could be enslaved or held captive by a sahir who remained free, and those who did that would be considered no longer part of the Suhhar. You must bargain with your spirits. Those were the whole of the laws they felt they needed; anything else could be handled by the sharia, to which all were clearly subject.

In 1220, there are perhaps 5000 sahirs living in the Middle East, primarily in Iraq and Jazira. A small community might have five or six sahirs, but most large cities have upwards of 50. In Syria or Egypt, there are maybe another 2-3000 sahirs who also belong to the Suhhar. Of this total, about 2/3 of them are men, 3/4 of them are Muslim and only around 500 have the Gift. In total, sahirs outnumber the Order of Hermes around five to one.

The Suhhar is run by the Majlis al-Sulayman, the Solomonic Council. It meets once a year, and every community of three or more sahirs chooses one member to represent it as vizier at the Majlis, who will go to Baghdad to speak for them. Some communities send several viziers - legend has it that Cairo once sent one vizier for every three sahirs in the city. The viziers elect one of their number to be grand vizier, who addresses all issues brought forwar. The worst sentence the grand vizier may pass is expulsion from the Suhhar, and the grand vizier has absolute authority to do that at any point in the next year, though they're expected to follow precedent and advice. Most issues that come up in the year will be deferred to the next Majlis.

Anyway, let's talk characters. Sahir can learn to invoke the Names of Power, essentially casting a spell that increases the power of a specific kind of spell cast immediately after. It's quite handy! Most sahir summon spirits via the art of Sihr, but it's not required - Goetic, Theurgical or Elemental summoning are all viable methods, as is Faerie summoning. A Gifted sahir is always considered to be equivalent to a magus-slot character, while an unGifted sahir is either a Mythic Companion or a normal Companion.

Solomonic spells, known as naranjs, come in two flavors: the summoning spell, which calls a specific spirit and summons it to your location without any of the hard work and effort normally required by Sihr (though also somewhat harder to do, and you need a new spell for each spirit you feel like calling), and the formulaic or ritual spell. These spells cannot be cast alone - a sahir must bind a spirit, using them as a medium through which to cast the magic. They may boost the power of a spell by spending 15 minutes or so exercising a mundane ability related to it - for example, in the case of Solomonic Physic, using medical skills. Doing so can also make the magic too subtle for anyone to notice. Ritual spells are merely extremely potent formulaic spells, requiring the expenditure of vis and maintained by the spirit with concentration. Normal formulaic spells cast by sahir are done in an instant - only ritual spells have lasting duration, and end when the spirit ceases to concentrate on them.

Sahir are notable in having capabilities that Hermetics do not - most notably, they can forcibly extract vis from supernatural beings or enchanted objects. The process is extremely painful for supernatural beings, though. Sahir may also bind a spirit into an inanimate object, either superficially tying them to an object in order to power a magical effect for as long as the spirit cares to maintain it, or literally binding and enslaving the spirit into the object to make a sustained, repeatedly-usable magic item. While bound in that way, a spirit cannot be summoned, and the Suhhar has made it illegal to do this to intelligent spirits, though there are plenty of unintelligent ones to use.

Sahir do not take Familiars; rather, they take a khadim, which means 'servant' but has no connotations of submission. The khadim bond empowers spells cast through the spirit that becomes khadim. You may have more than one khadim, but no spirit can be khadim to more than one sahir. Also, sahir do not need warding spells - they can just create wards against any spirit they can summon by drawing mystic circles and empowering them directly. Very handy. Lastly, sahir do not use the Longevity Rituals that Hermetics do. They create Al-Iksir, the Elixir of Life. Al-Iksir was brought to the Suhhar by Al-Hajjaj, who reportedly learned it from Al-Khidr. You summon a spirit into a liquid concoted from vis and then drink it, taking the properties of the spirit into yourself. This frees the spirit and purifies you. it can remove the effects of age, make you look younger or make you actually younger, reversing aging for real. Of course, it also warps you, can remove your memories and can cause eccentricity and madness or other flaws, but that's okay, it's immortality in a bottle.

There's many reasons that a Hermetic might want to study the sahirs. They could learn Hermetic True Names, finding a way to incorporate an Arcane Connection directly into a spell, which can be taught to others without having to create new Arcane Connections. They could learn the Scientates Suleimanis, learning to duplicate the way sahirs have found to do magic that replicates natural effects of the sciences, allowing them to break the Limit of Energy. They could learn Hermetic Realm Integration, granting a way to give Virtues without need for a mystery cult in a method similar to the Solomonic initiation - including the ability to do Hermatic magic without the Gift.

Sahirs might want to study the Hermetics, too. They might unlock the power of Solomonic Devices, the ability to create enchanted items that do not require a spirit to maintain the magic, allowing for much easier creation of enchanted items. They might learn Spontaneous Solomonic Magic, allowing the casting of spells not memorized in advance in the same way that Hermetic magi can. Lastly and most potently, they might learn Independent Solomonic Magic, allowing them to cast spells without aid of a spirit by using their own power directly.

Next time: Solomonic Magic.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Yep, Ars Magica is definitely getting bought. I actually like the concept of how the Muslim wizards work and I honestly would love to play one.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?




Ryuutama, Spring Part 5: Incantation Magic

Magic is the domain of any character with the Magic Type. It comes in two forms: Incantation Magic and Seasonal Magic.

Incantation Magic is the type of magic that one learns. Theoretically, anyone could learn it - it's a skill, just like farming or building cabinets. Seasonal Magic, however, is tied to the heart of the caster. Of the four Seasons, no caster can learn Seasonal Magic of more than one.

Magic is divided into three levels: Beginner (Available from level 1), Intermediate (Available from level 4), and Advanced (Available from level 7). As a Magic Type, you can learn 2 Incantation Magic spells every level (or Four if you picked Magic Type twice). In addition, at character creation, pick one season - you instantly gain access to all Seasonal Magic of that season once you reach the required level. So, if you're an Autumn caster, then as soon as you reach level 4 you instantly learn all Intermediate Autumn Magic.


Dog optional, but encouraged.

To cast a spell: Select a spell, select a target in range, perform the incantation, expend the MP, make a Magic Check, and the spell executes. The incantation time depends on the type of magic. Most spells are very fast, and take one action to incant. Ritual spells, on the other hand, take one hour to cast, and you must not be interrupted.

The Magic Check is WIS+SPR, and is often little more than a formality. If your opponent is trying to resist the spell, then it's an opposed check. Otherwise, the only danger is that you mighit roll a fumble, in which case the spell fails.

Range is abstracted, as Ryuutama uses a zones system rather than a tactical battle map. The possible ranges are Self, Touch, Nearby Area (~10 meters), All Areas (~15 meters), and Vision.

So, let's check out some spells! Warning: Some spells may be too adorable for the faint of heart.



Beginner Incantation Magic

Pure Crystal Light: MP 2, Duration 12 hours, Target 1 item, Range touch. Makes the item emit light equivalent to a lantern. Can be turned on and off at will.
Alert Bell Alarm: MP 4, Duration 12 hours, Area 10-meter radius circle, Range touch. Creates a circle that, if crossed by a monster, rings a magic bell that wakes up thte party. Grants a +1 bonus to the Camp Check for that night.
Arrow Compass: MP 4, Duration 12 hours, Range touch. Makes a needle that always point in the direction of your destination. Grants a +1 bonus to the day's Navigation Check.
Enhanced Red Hand: MP 4, Duration 6 rounds, Target 1 person, Range nearby area. Makes the weapon the target is wielding glow red along with the hand holding it, and grants them a +1 bonus to attack rolls.
Cure Touch: MP 4, Duration instant, Target 1 person, Range touch. Roll SPR, and restore that much HP to the target.
Shooting Star: MP 4, Duration instant, Target 1 person, Range all areas. Shoot a small star from your hand towards the target. Roll SPR, and inflict that much damage on the target. Only works if your Magic Check beats the target's Condition.
Animal Tamer: MP 10, Duration 12 hours, Target SPR (max 7) animals, Range vision. Ritual. All targets are tamed, and can be used as riding animals or beasts of burden for the duration. The animals must remain in your area for the full incantation.
Round Reflection: MP 10, Duration 12 hours, Target 1 person, Range touch. A blue shield surrounds the target. All special monster attacks or magic hitting the target does 3 less damage.
Taste-Good Taste: MP 10, Duration 1 hour, Target up to SPR rations of food, Range touch. The targeted food becomes Delicious. If it isn't eaten before the duration ends, the food rots.



Intermediate Incantation Magic

Open Draconica: MP 2, Duration instant, Target 1 person/monster, Range all areas. Access the magical monster chronicle Encyclopedia Draconica. Lets you look at the target's entry in the monsters section of the rulebook.
Attack of the Killer Object: MP 4, Duration instant, Target 1 person/monster, Range all areas. A nearby Object (more on these later) in the field is sacrificed to deal 1d6 damage to the target. Does not require you to beat their Condition on the Magic Check to hit.
Safety Zero: MP 4, Duration 6 rounds, Target 1 person, Range touch. If the target is reduced to 0 or less HP, then the spell ends and the target is brought back up to 1 HP.
Magimatic Shield: MP 4, Duration 10 minutes, Target 1 person, Range touch. Grants the target +1 Armor.
Remove Touch: MP 4, Duration instant, Target 1 person, Range touch. Lets somebody who is suffering from a status condition reroll their Condition Check to try and break it.
Knights of Cleaning: MP 4, Duration of ritual, Target 1 pile of laundry, Range touch, Ritual. Banishes the laundry to a dimension populated by magical laundry knights, who clean the poo poo out of it for you.
Wish Imp: MP 4, Duration sleep, Target 1 task, Range self, Ritual. Summons an imp that performs a task for you while you sleep. Must be something a child could do.
Cat's Drive: MP 10, Duration 12 hours, Target 5-meter radius circle, Range self, Ritual. Allows anyone in range to travel through forest at the same speed as if it were open plains.
Type Wild: MP 10, Duration 12 hours, Target up to 7 people, Range touch. Targets don a magical costume that allows them to avoid encounters with monsters and mythical creatures. Exceptions may apply.



Advanced Incantation Magic

Dragon Fly: MP 4, Duration 10 minutes, Target 1 person, Range touch. Wings like a dragonfly sprout from the target's back, allowing them to fly for 30km. Flying is just as physically taxing as walking, and the wings offer no bonuses or penalties in battle.
Falco Peregrinus: MP 4, Duration 6 rounds, Target 1 person, Range touch. Grants the target speed beyond what their body can handle. They can attack twice per round, but once the spell ends, they get the status Injury 10.
War Metafield: MP 10, Duration 6 rounds, Target entire field, Range self. Removes all Objects from the battlefield, adds +1 to all allied damage rolls and -1 to all enemy damage rolls until the spell ends.
Blade Blood Wash: MP 10, Duration instant, Target entire field, Range self. Magical blades cover the battlefield, hitting everyone (everyone.) for WIS+SPR damage, if the Magic Check beats their Condition.
Rainbow Drops Bridge: MP 4, Duration 12 hours, Target open space, Range touch, Ritual. Creates a bridge up to 50 meters long that people can walk on. Totally unrelated to Dragon Quest's rainbow bridge, we swear.
Dragon Sign: MP 4, Duration 1 hour, Target one object, Range vision, Ritual. Create a glowing sign of up to 30 characters of text in the air. You can determine who can or can't see the message.
Anywhere Cottage: MP 10, Duration 12 hours, Target open space, Range touch, Ritual. Creates a cottage that seats up to seven people (disappears if an eighth attempts to enter). +2 bonus to Camp Check if you stay inside it.
Dragon's Bounty: MP 10, Duration 2 hours, Target 7 people, Range self, Ritual. Creates an extravagant feast, fully restoring the HP of anyone who eats from it.
Replica: MP 10, Duration 12 hours, Target 1 item, Range touch, Ritual. Creates a duplicate of the target item that disappears at the end of the duration.

Next: Seasonal magic.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


More RPGs need a spell like Knights of Cleansing.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


I would play a campaign as a lost Knight of Cleansing, wandering this world, doing good deeds and cleaning up messes as he has hilarious misunderstandings about a world not entirely based on washing stuff and good-hearted adventures with his buddies. Goddamnit, I want this game now.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Kurieg posted:

More RPGs need a spell like Knights of Cleansing.

Real Life needs Knights of Cleansing. I HATE doing laundry.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Armageddon: The End Times Factions Part Deux

Last update we covered the Alliance, Heavenly Host and Infernal Legion. In this part, we'll cover the Lodge of the Undying, the Pantheons and the Watchers.

The Lodge of the Undying


A vampyre, a mage and an Immortal. As you can probably tell, I had issues coming up with the composition for this image.

The Lodge is a loose confederation of Immortals scattered across the world. It's purpose is to share information about their past, cover each others' activities, make sure no Immortal is ever without aid and generally be good to one another. If you've noticed, every instance of Immortals has been capitalized. That's because...

They're Atlanteans! We'll get into more depth later in the supernatural section, but these are the guys that brought down the Flood waaaay back before human history by getting caught up with Leviathan. The Lodge itself isn't that old, being founded in the 18th century by a world traveling Immortal who had come across several others of his ilk and thought that it'd be a good idea if they worked together, shared their knowledge and brought humanity back up to the level the Atlanteans were at before Lucifer dropped a catastrophic deluge on them all. After the founding, they kept their heads down (although they are a playable covenant in Witchcraft) up until the war broke out.

As a group, they try and dig up any information or artifacts having to do with Atlantis. They've mostly found nothing except for a conspiracy to cover up the evidence by destroying all of it. Two guesses as to who would have been behind that. The Lodge is comprised of around 30 college spread across the world. Each one is a combination safe house and batcave for Immortals and is headed by a Dean. Deans are selected by the twelve original founding Immortals. As for composition of the faction, it's mostly Immortals with human support staff and the odd magician, seer or supernatural that have proven themselves to the organization.

Preceding and during the war, the number of humans born with an Atlantean soul (and thus making them Immortals) has increased sharply, bolstering the numbers of Immortals at large in the world. They're still few in numbers and loosely organized, but many fight the Church of Revelations in whatever means they can, either by joining up and kicking anti-creation rear end as soldiers, building super science equipment to aid allies or other means. They really don't have a say in the matter as the Church has a kill on sight order for any Immortals they dig up. Old wounds from when Atlantis and Ultima Thule threw down.

The Pantheons


An Avatar of Monkey, an Incarnate of Black Metal and an Inheritor of Space. I like to imagine that the Incarnate's name is Finnvarga and that it actually means something in a foreign language.

Literally Gods. Not Creator level, but Zeus, Odin and the ilk. They're in the fight as individual groups and they have everything to lose as a victory for Leviathan means they're going to be undone.

The Sephyr, the progenitors of the Angels, are also responsible for the Titans. They're the Sephyr that came close to Earth and took on aspects of the physical world. And when the Angels flooded the world, the Titans stuck around to help humanity get back on their feet. But it wasn't free and they became the masters of mankind, demanding worship and commanding nations. It was a cush gig until the Angels came back and kicked their asses back to Netzach, where they've been ever since. Well, that is until the war began.

As for how they act, the Gods are haughty and aloof, seeing mankind as a favored pet. Albeit, one that has nuclear weapons and is heading back towards what Atlantis was capable of (hint: coldcocking Titans for fun). Expect your standard myth supported behavior to come from them. And then there are two pages with short info bombs about the Norse, Olympian, Aztec/Mayan and Egyptian pantheons.

The organization of the individual Pantheons tends to follow how they are in myths. At the top are the Sky Gods and Earth Mothers followed by Elder Gods, who are the ones that are well known in myths. Beneath them are the Incarnates, lesser gods who really haven't earned much fame. At the bottom are Inheritors, which are demigods, Avatars, the melding of divine essence with a mortal soul, and human followers. The human followers can also be from Netzach, which tends to mean they're packing the Gift and other supernatural powers at the cost of being clueless about the modern world.

Since the war began, the Gods have been manifesting in the world more often. This is mainly to do because of the Magic Generation and the increase of magic in the world. They're also surprised that Ragnarok involves Leviathan and not a conflict between two other groups from inside the sephiroth. Regardless, they all knew it was coming and took steps to ensure they had hosts of divine soldiers ready, many in the form of offspring. So game on.

As for how they work with others, the Alliance is almost an extension of the Aesir and vice-versa. They hate the Angels with a passion for putting mankind under the yoke and don't trust the demons because, well, they're God damned demons. They also work pretty well with the Immortals and the Watchers.

The Watchers


An Exile seraphim and a nephilim. Yes, the ability to reattach lost limbs as a nephilim is mechanically supported.

So, way back in the day of Noah, there were angels kicking about on Earth. They came down and shared some awesome knowledge with the lot of us back then and, after spending so long with us, fell in love with mortals and started families with humans. The Nephilim were one of the main reasons God wrecked the world with the flood. This biblical story is pretty much the origin of the Watchers. They are angels that came to earth, helped humans, fell in love and started having children. These children may be some of greatest weapons to be used in the war and we'll get to the Nephilim in the supernaturals section.

The Watchers were formed by the Archangels Shemizael, Azrael and the titan Prometheus shortly after the Flood and Lucifer's imprisonment. Their reason for existence was to help mankind recover some of its lost glory and because the Watchers were in love with the humans either physically or because of their ability to constantly create new things. The angelic response from this was pretty severe and those that survived it went directly into hiding. There they stayed until the war broke out, helping humanity from the shadows and hunting down supernatural threats before they could get out of hand.

The Watchers are out to protect humanity just like the Heavenly Host is, but they choose to do so from beside humanity, often under assumed identities. They've worked alongside most conspiracies and secret societies or against them if they were attempting to do harm to humanity as a whole. Individual members have built up significant financial and political clout in pursuit of their goals, although they hide the fact that they are angels to prevent mankind from just giving up on doing anything and letting the Watchers take care of everything.

The Watcher organization is comprised of Exiled seraphim, nephilim, humans and some titans with position within the organization being based on ability and experience. As one climbs through the ranks, more independence and decision making ability is granted to you. The highest ranks are either centuries old or the original founders.

The Watchers dropped the ball in regards to not stopping the Church's rise and are now more than likely to break their secrecy in order to take on the enemy. They are also in the process of combining with the Alliance, which is going to give the Alliance some impressive firepower. They've also been on the look out for nephilim since most of them are related directly to the Watchers. The same up surge in magic that gave rise to the increased numbers of Gifted and Supernaturals also resulted in the dormant nephilim genes activating. There are thousands of nephilim in the world now and most of them have no clue what they are.

As has already been stated, the Alliance and the Watchers get along extremely well. The Exiles' relationship with their angelic brethren isn't all that great. They don't trust the Host as they murdered many Exiles when they first formed and the Legion are demons. The Lodge and the Watchers face some friction based around how the Watchers view Atlantis and what happened before the Flood. And the Pantheons are on a case by case basis as some Gods have tried to help and many have turned humans into serfs.

And with that, after such a long time, the Factions are finished. Yaaaay! Next up is the Metaphysics chapter. I will go into detail in the core four metaphysical abilities from Witchcraft and cover the additional ones loosely.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Ettin posted:

Matthew Grau posted:

And yes, you can blame the Violator on me. However, as you can infer from the tone in the book, I am as disgusted with it as you are. After all, this is a Lovecraftian game. It would be disrespectful of me to not go there.

Urotsukidōji references: Respectful to Lovecraft.

HP Lovecraft posted:

And as for Puritan inhibitions - I admire them more every day. They are attempts to make of life a work of art - to fashion a pattern of beauty in the hog-wallow that is animal existence - and they spring out of that divine hatred for life which marks the deepest and most sensitive soul...An intellectual Puritan is a fool - almost as much of a fool is an anti-Puritan - but a Puritan in the conduct of life is the only kind of man one may honestly respect. I have no respect or reverence whatever for any person who does not live abstemiously and purely - I can like and tolerate him...but in my heart I feel him to be my inferior - nearer the abysmal amoeba and the Neanderthal man..

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


So wait, Lovecraft was a nihilist? At least that is what I am picking up from the reference to divine hatred for life.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Ars Magica 5th Edition: Cradle and Crescent

Sihr is, strictly speaking, not one of the Solomonic Arts. However, it is so common that the unaligned sahirs of the Ashab al-Halqa consider it their specialty. Sihr is said to derive from the Art of Solomon, and its primary use is in detecting jinn and other spirits and discerning their power, then summoning them. The sahir then bargains with the jinn for service, generally in payment of vis.

Solomonic Alchemy is the art of effecting non-living matter, either simple and elemental or complex and mixed. You or your spirit must touch the target, and simple matter is easier. The more you change what you touch, the harder it is. You can enhance or diminish qualities, purify matter, transform it into other matter, change its size, animate matter or even alter the properties of the matter, though unnatural change requires ritual magic. Solomonic Alchemy draws on knowledge of Philosophiae and science, and it makes the body resistant to damage and age, and also strengthens the body for carrying things.

Solomonic Astrology is the art of gaining information via signs and portents, and it works on anyone you can see or have an Arcane Connection to. The more detail you want, the harder it is. It can give premonitions, perceive qualities of people or things, sense danger, create Arcane Connections or scry on people. It draws on the Artes Liberales and knowledge of astronomy, and it enhances alertness and intuition as well as experimental results in the lab.

Solomonic Physic requires you or your spirit to touch the target, and works on both animals and humans. The greater an effect you want, the harder it is. It may bless or curse healing and recovery from disease, cause wounds, strengthen or weaken personality traits, weaken the body and mind, strengthen or weaken poison, cure diseases, restore fatigue, cause diseases, transform the personality, heal wounds and resolve or cause crises of age. It draws on knowledge of Medicine, naturally. It speeds healing and slows aging, and also makes you stealthier, harder to notice and dodgier (if you don't attack).

Solomonic Storytelling targets anyone who can hear your voice that you can sense, and it creates illusions. The harder they are to see through, the harder they are to cast. It can change emotions, convince people to do things, convey messages, alter memories, change images or cause illusions. It draws on your knowledge of local lore to tell appropriate stories. Further, it makes you better at social situations, better at leading people and spirits and resistant to emotional manipulation.

Solomonic Travel manipulates distance, magic power and the supernatural realms. It opens passages via magic circles or marks, and the sooner you want the magic to show up, the harder it is. It can warp people, restore magical might, open portals to regiones and magical realms, close portals, age people, sense the invisible, scry on arcane connections, scry on dreams, transform you into a spirit or open portals between locations. It draws on knowledge of the supernatural realms, and it helps you navigate such realms and deal with the effects of warping, as well as avoiding fatigue and assisting in control of magical power.

But you need a jinn. Islamic teaching holds that there are three kinds of intelligent being: the angels or mala'ika, made from light. The humans, al-Ins, made from clay. And the jinn, made from smokeless fire. Jinn are an important part of Islamic folklore. Some legends tell of impious humans turned to jinn after their deaths. Jinn may come from the Magic Realm, composed of pure magic, the Faerie Realm, composed of Glamour or the Infernal Realm, composed of rarefied power. Some jinn, particularly Magical jinn, are elemental in nature. Most can take physical form, and many are shapeshifters. They divide themselves into tribes based roughly on what realm they are from and how they act. The Jann, for example, are all Muslims who pass for merchants, nomads or shepherds and hail from the Faerie realm. The Shaitan are a mix of dark Faerie and Infernal jinn, some of which are true demons. The Ghul are dark Faerie or Infernal jinn who feast on carrion and human flesh. The Marid are elemental and weather-based Magical jinn.

All jinn, no matter what realm, share a few traits. They have True Names, even the weak ones. They hail only from lands where Muslims live. All know of Islam. Some accept it (Faerie jinn, always), reject it (dark Faerie jinn), ignore it (Magic jinn) or oppose it (Infernal jinn). They universally speak and understand classical Arabic, though rare ancient jinn may prefer Aramaic, Hebrew or other ancient Semitic tongues. All understand Islamic theology to some extent. All have some power to hide, either by invisibility, immateriality, illusion or shapeshifting.

Most jinn speak all the tongues of man. They frequently have second sight and are frequently bound to never break a contract unless the other side does so first. Animals can usually sense their nature. All jinn possess the power to become corporeal by one means or another, and some are locked in physical forms. All jinn can take on at least one other form, either incorporeal or via shapeshifting. Jinn all live long times, but some do age, albeit slowly. All jinn claim a common origin in Jinnistan, and some scholars believe this means that all jinn were originally Magical but shifted realms somehow.

Those jinn who claim either to have accepted or rejected Islam are Faerie jinn, often called pious and impious jinn. They are the ones most people meet. They mimic human behavior, and generally their religious positions are a sham meant to follow the stories of humans, as all faeries are guided by story. They live in inhospitable areas near human settlements, and tend to take part in stories about the nature of adulthood. Most have powers of illusion, flight, shapeshifting or travel, and must are vulnerable to the Bismillah invocation or the call of the mua'addhin. Before the rise of Islam, Jinn claiming to follow Jewish or Christian beliefs were more common, but they are very rare these days. Some jinn have been imprisoned since the time of Solomon, and will generally either declare their religion as Jewish or Christian...or will claim to somehow have converted to Islam during captivity.

Jinn that show little interest in mankind are Magical jinn, and are called pagan jinn. They are elemental spirits, tied to landscape features most of the time. They can generally only leave their locus by tying themselves to a person or object. Some claim to be pre-Islamic deities, but they do not depend on worship for power. They are strongly tied to the elements and are the most commonly summoned jinn by sahirs, since they are often easy to identify. Unlike Faerie and Infernal jinn, some of them are not bothered by the Bismillah invocation, though many of the weaker ones are warded off by it.

Corrupt jinn are the Infernal ones, both demons and merely tainted jinn. They do not merely reject Islam but actively oppose it. All Infernal jinn are burned by the touch of iron and the Bismillah invocation. Beyond that, they largely resemble demons in most ways. It can often be very hard to tell the difference between a dark Faerie jinn playing through a story of savagery and a corrupt jinn.

Sahir may study jinn to learn more of magic, as can Hermetic magi, though typically you will need to make a deal to get the jinn to sit still long enough for it to be worth doing. Jinn, like most supernatural beings, can have children with humans, and their children tend to bear a few traces of their parentage but lack anywhere near the raw power of the jinn. They are faerie-blooded or demon-blooded just like any other of their sort.

Next time: Zoroastrianism.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Tasoth posted:

So wait, Lovecraft was a nihilist? At least that is what I am picking up from the reference to divine hatred for life.

Not really, though he was very close. He believed in what he called cosmicism - unlike nihilism, he believed there might be meaning or purpose to life, it was just largely inconsequential when considering the "deep time" of an indifferent universe.

When he's referring to "life" in that quote, he's referring to the base processes of life (eating, pooping, touching other people in general), and that humanity's animal nature was something to overcome, not to dwell upon. I don't agree with ol' HP on most things including that, but the point is making a game that dwells considerably on the grotesque details of assembly-line sexual violence because it is "respectful" betrays an utter disregard or ignorance of how the guy actually thought and felt.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011
I AM A BIG FAT STUPID FUCKER WHO SHOULD STAY THE FUCK OUT OF CSPAM

Yea I wish we could revive Lovecraft to have him just go off on CTech people for ruining his work in every way.

And then show him the black president just to really gently caress him up.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Ars Magica 5th Edition: Cradle and Crescent

Mazdeanism/Zoroastrianism, basically, is a monotheistic faith that predates Christianity, based on the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster, AKA Zarathustra. He was six hundred years or so before Christ, was a virgin birth and was raised as a Persian priest. He was visited by God, called Ohrmazd, and brought forth the holy hymns called Gathas. He spent a decade preaching through Persia, and even converted the Emperor Vishtaspa after performing miracles for him. He was murdered in the city of Balkh by Turanian warriors. His disciple Osthanes led the religion to the main faith of Persia, and the priests, called mobeds, held great secrets of power. Under the Achaemenians and Parthians, they expanded and taught many great Hellenic thinkers. However, when Alexander the Great invaded, he plundered and destroyed their fire temples, slaughtering priests and burning scriptures. The following Seleucid period was one of despair, as the Mazdeans were persecuted and their temples desecrated.

They returned to strength under the Sasanids, coming into conflict with the Roman empire and the Mercurian priesthood. During this period, there was great conflict and magical war with the Mercurians, as the mobeds called down angels and spirits to aid them in battle in Syria and Palestine, as well as using their visions of the future to guide their generals. Despite this, it was a mere sideline to the true war on Ahriman, the Devil. However, the Zoroastrians fell from power under Islamic rule. Many Mazdeans converted to Islam after the Sasanid Empire was defeated. While the Muslims viewed Zoroastrian scripture as in the same category as the Christian Bible or Jewish Torah, there have been laws made to enforce the inferiority of the Mazdean faith under Muslim control, and Zoroastrians in particular are discriminated against, called gabars ('infidels') and accused worshipping fire and the devil.

Most Zoroastrians who have not converted have fled to remote locations in Iran or further east. Despite this, the locals still speak Parsi over Arabic, and Persian culture remains distinct from Arabic culture. They retain their memories of ancient glory, including the history of the Mazdeans. For most of that history, the church and government have been the same - it was not until the Sasanids that a formal and explicit Mazdean Church was formed under rule by the high priests rather than the king. The mobeds suppressed all other, 'false' faiths such as Christianity, Maniacheanism and Judaism, as well as more exotic, Eastern beliefs. This continued until the Muslim conquest. The Mazdean Church is gone now, though the priesthood has survived. It is hereditary - you are born to be a mobed, not recruited. The group is currently rather collegiate, with no leader now to resolve disputes. However, given the dispersal of the Mazdeans, there really aren't many disputes.

Mazdeans believe in Ohrmazd, the Wise Lord or Ahura Mazda, who posses the Destructive Spirit, Ahriman or Angra Mainyu. Ohrmazd is the Creator, from which all good flows. Ahriman is the embodiment of evil. Zoroaster believed in a very high standard of morality, with the collective action of the faithful swinging the balance of power towards good or evil. The material universe is God's good creation, and all unpleasant parts of it are caused by Ahriman. Maintaining purity is vital, but the world is still to be enjoyed; Zoroastrianism is not an ascetic faith by any definition.

There are many divine beings in the Zoroastrian hierarchy, such as the seven Ameshaspand, or Holy Immortals, who each embody an aspect of Ohrmazd and care for part of the world. They are, in Ars Magica, extremely potent angels who act only under God's direction but are not literally of the same nature as God. Below them are the yazdan, or Adorable Ones, lesser angels such as Marduk or Mithras. There are 40 named yazdan, and they personify ideas or natural phenomena, granting blessings and answering sacrifices. Many are true angels, but some are merely Divinely-aligned spirits. Yazdan may be invoked in the same way Christians invoke saints, but you must be ritually pure to do so. Beneath them are the frohar, the perfect divine spirits of all created things. Humans have them as guardian angels, but everything has a frohar, and they ensure the world keeps working.

Mazdeans say that those who are judged to lead good lives enter Heaven, those whose lives are equally good and evil are sent to Hamestagna ('Limbo') and experience mild discomfort but not torture, and those who are evil suffer torments under Ahriman. The dead will rise with the coming of the true World Savior, the Saoshyant. The wicked will suffer three days in hell, the pure will have three days in heaven, and after three days, all will be purified in molten metal and live in Ohrmazd's kingdom of eternal bliss.

Fire is central to Zoroastrian faith, a symbol of truth, Divine presence and purity. All sacred fires must burn constantly - extinguishing or polluting one is a grave sin. Only clean, dry wood may be used, preferably an aromatic wood. The Zoroastrian agiari, or fire temple, is meant to guard the fire, which is tended by priests. The devout visit daily, while less pious Zoroastrians visit on sacred days. There are only a few full-time temples left these days, however, and many Zoroastrians make do with constantly-burning oil lamps at home. These are called atesh dadgah, fire of the appointed place, which can only be used for cooking if the cookpots are only 2/3 full and do not spill over and pollute the fire. Above that are the royal fires, the atesh adaran ('fire of fires') which is made from four ceremonially lit fires and is also called atesh Varahran, or fire of the guardian Verahran. Holiest is the atesh Behram, which requires 16 fires and considerable ceremony to light. Any of these fires increases Dominion aura in the area while lit.

Ahriman, the Zoroastrian devil, is the personification of lies and evil, embodying all negative things. He pollutes and corrupts, creating evil things for all good things Ohrmazd made. He chose evil, was not made that way. Under him are the Daevas, potent demons made in mockery of the Ameshaspand. They are corruptors, both physical and spiritual, and they created the negative emotions of hate and envy. Beneath them are 45 named demons who oppose the yazdan.

Mazdean heresies do exist, in theory, but none have survived to 1225. They once included the Zurvanites, who claimed Ohrmazd had a father, Zurvan ('Time'), and that free will did not exist. There were also the ascetic Mazdakites who practiced poverty. Much like Christianity, Mazdean coming of age rituals grant Faith points and render names unusable as True Names for magical purposes, much as baptism does, while other rituals like marriage do the same. Like all other Divine religions, a soul laid to rest in the proper sacred manner is beyond the reach of magic.

Now, character options! Mazdean magic utilizes the dead language Avestan, in which Mazdean holy texts are written. Those who descend from the original priestly caste of Persia, the Magian tribe, resist aging and have a natural affinity for supernatural powers. Any Mazdean can learn the Knowledge of True NAmes, though it is of no use to those without supernatural powers. This knowledge gives use of several demonic, magical or faerie True Names - or even Divine ones.

The Mobeds are a form of miracle worker, much as other holy traditions are. They have long scorned other magic-users, and are now scorned by the Suhhar in turn. Their ancient lore is much admired by both the Suhhar and the Hermetics, but neither really believes the mobed tradition still lives. They favor the powers of Invocation, Adjuration, Wonders and the sensing of holy and unholy power. Mobeds also often practice Mythic Alchemy and Mythic Herbalism, as well as Dream Interpretation similar to the Jews. Further, they have access to several Mystery Cult virtues which mobeds can be initiated into.

The Blessings of the Ameshaspand grant bonuses to holy magic related to specific areas, generally covered by one or two Hermetic Forms. They may learn Mazdean Alchemy, by which they can derive vis from a Divine aura. They can learn Mazdean Astrology, allowing them to define spells which last minutes, hours, days or by astrological sign, rather than relying on the sun or seasons. They may learn the Righteousness of the Wise, enchanting fires, holy ground or communities. They may learn to create Saoshyant's Elixir, a grand and arduous ritual that grants immunity to age and death by any means in exchange for Divine warping.

Lastly, a mobed may unlock the Gifts of Gayomart, granting additional power to their True Faith. At True Faith 1, they get Asha, Truth. They cannot be lied to or purposefully deceived, save by those who have strong Magic Resistance. Even demons cannot lie to them. At True Faith 4, they get Vohu Manah, Good Mind, and gain a Commanding Aura similar to a ruler or spiritual leader. At True Faith 6, they get Hauvatat, Wholeness, immunizing them to disease and decay as well as slowing aging and resisting damage. Further, their body may heal from any scar or wound, even lost limbs, given enough time. At True Faith 8, they get Ameratat, Immortality, and will never die of old age as long as they maintain their faith, though they may still die of wounds.

Next time: Things to do in Mythic Arabia.

Mirthless
Mar 27, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 42 minutes!


ThisIsNoZaku posted:

gently caress me, who thought Druids needed that?

Edit: Quoted the wrong thing.

Eberron is the "druids are overpowered" campaign setting, to be fair. I played with a bunch of people who thought Druids were the shittiest class in the game for a long time until I rolled one that had 15 or 16 attacks with Pounce at level 5. Fleshrakers, man.

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




ThisIsNoZaku posted:

gently caress me, who thought Druids needed that?

Edit: Quoted the wrong thing.

Ah, yes, Weretouched Master. I think that's a reappearance of a class from the old 3.0 books which resulted in stupidity like a Druid player playing a Werebear Bear in order to get Bear base bonuses plus the bonus for being a Bear hybrid.

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


Mirthless posted:

Eberron is the "druids are overpowered" campaign setting, to be fair. I played with a bunch of people who thought Druids were the shittiest class in the game for a long time until I rolled one that had 15 or 16 attacks with Pounce at level 5. Fleshrakers, man.

The only thing I would play 3.5 for these days is an absolute balls-to-the-wall ridiculously powergamed clusterfuck of a game.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


hyphz posted:

Ah, yes, Weretouched Master. I think that's a reappearance of a class from the old 3.0 books which resulted in stupidity like a Druid player playing a Werebear Bear in order to get Bear base bonuses plus the bonus for being a Bear hybrid.

The Bear Warrior?

That got a 3.5 update that made it not as good.

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


ThisIsNoZaku posted:

The only thing I would play 3.5 for these days is an absolute balls-to-the-wall ridiculously powergamed clusterfuck of a game.

It's pretty cool to do things like spontaneously cast the entire evocation school and most of conjuration too as a wizard. The whole point is to come up with new ways to astound the DM.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


wdarkk posted:

It's pretty cool to do things like spontaneously cast the entire evocation school and most of conjuration too as a wizard. The whole point is to come up with new ways to astound the DM.



How is that possible?

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


Kurieg posted:



How is that possible?

Magic.
:iamafag:

Edit: I'm going to make myself put up a Wu Xing post tonight, so I actually contribute something other than my inane yammering.

neonchameleon
Nov 14, 2012





Kurieg posted:



How is that possible?

It's even worse - the spells you're casting can be one level higher than the spells you can cast so you can use a 7th level slot to spontaneously cast any 8th level spell from the list.

Shadowcraft Mage level 3 ability (Use an image spell as any Evocation, Conjuration (Summoning), or Conjuration (Creation) of one level lower than the image you're using).

Then you throw in a pile of feats.

Heighten Spell (raise your image spells to high level so you just need a heightened Silent Image)
Practical Metamagic (lower the level adjustment by 1).
Earth Spell (When you heighten a spell increase the heightened level by 1 when standing on the ground).
Signature Spell (You can replace any prepared slot of equal or higher level with your Signature Spell).
Arcane Disciple: Miracle is an evocation spell. Add a domain containing it to yoru arcane spells.
Residual Magic: You can repeat a metamagic feat you used the previous turn without paying the cost of it. So if last turn you used Silent Image heightened to 8th level to cast a 9th level spell, you can do it again using a 1st level slot as if you had heightened it.

(Oh, and while I'm at it, Shadowcraft Mages' illusions are 20% more real than you'd expect, they are automatically silent and extended, and Wizard 5/Shadowcraft Mage 5/Incantatrix 10 (for another level saved) is a valid build).

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


Practical Metamagic? Man, I really need to get Races of the Dragon asap.

Amechra
Sep 9, 2012


If you pick your feats right, your spells are immune to Divination effects. And are naturally invisible.

So you can make undetectable ninja clones of yourself.

It helps if you look at 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons as "Fantasy Superheroes."

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


Amechra posted:

If you pick your feats right, your spells are immune to Divination effects.

Hmm, which feat is that? I could use it.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




neonchameleon posted:

Arcane Disciple: Miracle is an evocation spell. Add a domain containing it to yoru arcane spells.

Just to nitpick, copied spells have no XP invested in them and therefore Miracle doesn't do anything.

pospysyl
Nov 10, 2012

SO EMBARRASSING



And I'm back! A short update today, but there's a good reason for that. I've been updating my old posts, clarifying some stuff that may have been confusing and stuff that definitely confused me. With that out of the way, we can get to

Tribebook: Bone Gnawers

The Bone Gnawers really came into their own during the Age of Exploration. After the success of the first Piping, further tribal moots became commonplace as communication and travel improved. The amount of Garou that could reasonably claim the name “Bone Gnawer” increased. The Bone Gnawers began to have an actual political presence in the Garou Nation simply because they could actually agree on things and make their existence known. Many Gnawers gained upwards mobility, well, at least among the Bone Gnawer ranks.

The urge for exploration eventually led the Gnawers to the New World. Various Gnawers stowed away on the early voyages and sent back reports about the land of plenty. Eventually, a new Piping was called in Lisbon, and the Gnawers planned a mass exodus. They got assistance from other tribal elders, who wanted information and expendable scouts to get it. The Gnawers were promised respect, but of course, they didn’t end up getting it. Tired of their treatment among the other European Garou, they left, with Corazon Bitefinder leading the exodus. The Pure Tribes resented this, naturally, but the Bone Gnawers began the European Garou presence in the Americas.

The story is here picked up by Welcomed-into-the-Hall-of-Presidents. When the Gnawers found America, they finally became a full-fledged tribe. Their early sponsorship of the democratic revolution gave them a stake in the Garou Nation they never had before. They were the patrons of America, and the other Garou had to respect that. No other tribe, save the Pure, can claim to be as home in the USA as the Bone Gnawers, and even the Pure are uncomfortable in today’s United States.

Helping the American revolutionaries would mean breaking the Ban of Man. To do so, the American Gnawers developed the High Ban. The Gnawers could still fight in homid form, but not use any of their werewolf powers. They couldn’t sneak through the Umbra to attack supply lines or use cool rites or gifts. If they were grievously injured, they could still retreat to heal, but they were out of the war for good. This way, they could still help their charges while maintaining the Veil. The High Ban is still in common practice today.

The success of the American Revolution inspired other revolutions, most of which Bone Gnawers participated in. The revolution they’re most proud of is the French Revolution, created to distract the humans from the Gnawers’ true mission: to kill all the Parisian vampires. With the help of the French Ratkin, the Gnawers purged France of vampiric influence. During the Russian Revolution, the Sept of the Noble’s Will, a caern granted to the Bone Gnawers by the Silver Fangs but ruled by their nobles, was overthrown, becoming the Sept of the People’s Will. The Fangs retaliated harshly, but they’ll never rule the caern again.


Perspective? What's that?

That aside, the new governments were entirely developed by humans, and the Bone Gnawers freely admit that (the vampires won’t, but that’s a story for another day). However, the Garou Nation failed to develop. The elders the Bone Gnawers made a home for took power from the Pure Tribes. In protest, many Gnawers left the tribe and explored the west as ronin. These Gnawers became the Hillfolk, taking up rural trades and filling the wide wild landscape of America.

The next section is titled “The Civil War”, but it’s not about that at all. Instead, it’s a discussion on totems. As more and more Bone Gnawers concentrated in America, the local scavenger spirits grew more powerful. In time, the access to these spirits made the United States the new Bone Gnawer homeland. But the scavenger spirits no longer fully encapsulated the Gnawer agenda. At long last, the Bone Gnawers began to hope. They believed in the promise of America, along with everyone else. And so, the American Dream took on sentience and became one of the patron Bone Gnawer totem spirits. It represented the ability to create new traditions if the old didn’t suit you, to find a new home if you were thrown out of your old. The America Dream is a full-fledged Incarna, and it’s among the most popular Bone Gnawer totems.


That werewolf is wearing a WWII army hat. I take back everything I've said about the art.

During the Gilded Age, the Glass Walkers’ wealth increased tremendously. The Bone Gnawers hitched their wagon to theirs, serving as the muscle to the Walkers’ brains. Together, the two tribes ruled the bootlegging industry. The tribes got along well, but it wasn’t like they were going to become one urban tribe. Then the Great Depression came around. The Walkers were hit hard, but they passed most of the hurting to the Gnawers. The Gnawers, then, were in a real tight spot. They became more involved in human affairs than ever, raising funds, defending tent cities. Their conduct proved that the Bone Gnawers could really make a difference where the other tribes couldn’t.
Hall closes the Recitation by describing World War II. The destruction caused by that war confirmed that the End Times were finally here. Teeth-of-the-Jackal urges his followers to start acting now, because the Apocalypse is here and there are no consequences. It’s the perfect time to finally change the world for the better. The Bone Gnawers can finally live to the fullest. Meanwhile, the Old Man who began the Recitation drifts off to sleep in an alley. A crow spirit takes his fetish dagger and flies away. The Old Man is dead.

Next time: Finally quoting Tyler Durden

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Amechra
Sep 9, 2012


wdarkk posted:

Hmm, which feat is that? I could use it.

Insidious Magic from Player's Guide to Faerun.

But enough off topic! I will post something of Argh! by the end of the week, after my exams are done!

EDIT: Also, the Bone Gnawers are my favorites. Just putting that out there.

Amechra fucked around with this message at 04:43 on May 14, 2013

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