Register a SA Forums Account here!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
Feb 13, 2012

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

wiegieman posted:

This description applies to most of the potential patrons a party of whf players can have.

The core of WHFRP is becoming a hero despite working for terrible people, mostly for money, and possibly showing up to the epic battle drunk and by accident.


Dec 13, 2011
As someone who hasn't played H:tV or V:tR, is soloing a vampire really that easy? Some gut instinct is telling me that Jada killing several vampires one on one is notable.

Emily also strikes me as the mentor archetype in the hero story narrative. She takes someone ill-prepared for the task ahead of them, brings them up to speed and then unleashes them at it.

Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

Tasoth posted:

As someone who hasn't played H:tV or V:tR, is soloing a vampire really that easy? Some gut instinct is telling me that Jada killing several vampires one on one is notable.

White Wolf and its offspring have a long history of cognitive disconnect between fluff vs. mechanics.

Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Tasoth posted:

As someone who hasn't played H:tV or V:tR, is soloing a vampire really that easy? Some gut instinct is telling me that Jada killing several vampires one on one is notable.

Depends heavily on how prepared you are for them and what tricks they do or do not have up their sleeves. At their core, vampires are not incredibly difficult to beat - they're above your typical human, but need the right powers to really be superhuman. Even so, they're typically one of the least threatening supernaturals in the World of Darkness in a straight up fight, and more dangerous for their powers of evasion and manipulation.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

A Hero power that gives them the one-time Twitter reach of a Trump or other huge celebrity would be interesting. Like how anyone he targets on Twitter is instantly attacked by a flood of assholes? Imagine some nobody Hunter with a dozen followers and a WordPress blog doing that to a Beast. Like a supernatural botnet.

It's probably better as a Mage spell, though. Correspondence +Life (to give the supernatural sock puppet accounts some sentience).
Or a really dumb UA Adept.
Or the power to have one post go viral, once.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

Cythereal posted:

Depends heavily on how prepared you are for them and what tricks they do or do not have up their sleeves. At their core, vampires are not incredibly difficult to beat - they're above your typical human, but need the right powers to really be superhuman. Even so, they're typically one of the least threatening supernaturals in the World of Darkness in a straight up fight, and more dangerous for their powers of evasion and manipulation.

That's not quite so true in 2e. Out of the box, any vampire with basic combat skills is more than a match for most humans because weapons deal bashing damage to them. All weapons, period.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Book 3, Chapter 14: Imperial Planetology

“Planetology” means a great deal to the Dune universe. Herbert was concerned with ecology, sociology, and history, and so he conceived of “planetologists” whose studies encompass all the environmental and social sciences. In the game, the Imperial Planetological Survey (IPS) is an Imperial bureau that collects information on every planet in the Known Universe. This is logical, since Liet Kynes, Imperial planetologist, is the “Judge of the Change” for the transfer of Arrakis from Harkonnen to Atreides control in Dune.

The IPS has a “survey form” with concise information on inhabited worlds: its astronomical name (Earth would be Sol III), rotation period, geography, climate, demography, and economy. The Entourage can even send away to the IPS for information--but beware. Like any bureaucracy, the IPS is prone to mistakes or corruption. Having an in-setting bureau that can give the PCs incomplete information on their mission is a neat idea. This chapter gives us the survey forms along with detailed descriptions for the most notable Imperial worlds.

Although terraforming is limited to the Guild’s weather control satellites, there are tens of thousands of inhabited planets in the Imperium. Legally, they all fall into one of a few categories. Homeworlds are the home and fiefdom of a Great House and its Houses Minor. Only about a thousand inhabited planets are homeworlds (meaning there are about a thousand Great Houses). Siridar-fiefs are other planets held entirely in fiefdom by a Great House, inheritable like any other piece of land. Quasi-fiefs are similar, but held at the discretion of the Emperor--Arrakis is a quasi-fief. So for example, when House Atreides was awarded the fiefdom of Arrakis and moved his royal family there, Duke Leto might style himself “Duke Leto Atreides of Arrakis, Duke-absentia of Caladan” He might appoint a “siridar-governor” to manage Caladan for him.

There are also out-freyn (“immediately foreign”) worlds that technically aren’t part of the Imperium at all. Some of these are backwater hives of scum and villainy which no Great House has managed (or bothered) to conquer. But this also includes such places as the homeworlds of the mysterious Ixians and Tleilaxu, whose societies are alien to the Imperial caste system.

Before reaching thy next level of experience thou must gain 7 points. See me again when thy level has increased. Goodbye now, Hero. Take care and tempt not the Fates.

The pastoral world of Caladan has been ruled by the siridar-dukes of House Atreides for 26 generations. It is a very Earth-like world, but warmer and wetter, almost 80% covered by water. Rain and fog are common, but outside the hurricane season, the weather is generally pleasant. Caladan is an almost idyllic world with geology ranging from snow-capped mountain ranges to dense forests, vast fertile plains, and sandy beaches, with little scrubland and no true desert.

The planet has three large continents and many small islands. Most of the population lives on the Western Continent, where Cala City is the home of the Atreides’ Castle Caladan. The smaller Southern Continent hosts the Atreides’ primary spaceport, while the Eastern Continent is largely unpopulated besides the undetailed “Sisters of Isolation.” Intriguing.

Caladan is a beautiful world, but not a rich one. It’s not rich in minerals, and relies on mariculture and agriculture for its economy, namely fishing, pundi rice, paradan melons, and the famous Caladanian wine. This is why the Atreides are relatively poor for such a politically prominent Great House.

Anyone touches my squares, you get the hose.

Giedi Prime was once a majestic world of high mountains, ancient forests, and rich seas, but the greed of the siridar-barons of House Harkonnen has made it a polluted hell. The planet is naturally cold and arid, only half covered by water with vast stretches of tunda. Generations of strip mining, deforestation, erosion, and industrial runoff have made it even more inhospitable. Arable land is rare and marine life is nearly extinct. What was once a sparse but beautiful planet is now choked with smog-spewing factories and squalid tenements, awash in smog and acid rain.

If the Harkonnen have no scruples about squeezing every bit of wealth out of their home planet, they have even less regard for their people. About 25% of the population are maula, slaves without even the human rights accorded to serfs, held in shantytowns and forced labour camps outside the cities. Most of the rest of the population are crammed into filthy and overcrowded cities, working long hours under the threat of the overseer’s whip. Harkonnen industry is rapacious but not at all efficient, typified by decrepit housing, outdated equipment, and no central planning. When the laborers do get a rare holiday, most celebrate in the same manner as their Harkonnen masters, with drugs, gambling, and other vices.

When it comes to the nobility, the Harkonnen spare no expense on their comfort and that of their offworld guests. In the capitol of Harko City, they put on a show of lavish wealth and forced cheer for important visitors, but it’s a thin veneer--you don’t have to look far to find the filth, crime, and atmosphere of dread among the servants. But even the worst parts of Harko City aren’t much danger to the nobility, thanks to the Saarvek (secret police) patrols. The industrial city of Korvak is much more typical of Giedi Prime. Its richest families live in environmentally sealed housing while the commoners are exposed to toxic dumping from the city’s many factories.

The Moritani homeworld of Grumman is a stark and inhospitable world, if beautifully so. Its low temperatures and thin atmosphere support extended ice caps, permafrost, taiga, and perpetually windy grasslands where the mastodon and saber-toothed tiger thrive.

That’s the short version. There’s a recurring problem with the homeworld writeups for all the Houses we don’t know from the novels: too little information on their culture in favour of geography and climate.

Grumman’s equatorial regions are warm enough to support agriculture, but most of the planetary economy comes from mining and timber--and assassins. In the free city of Irbassa, home of the Laurentii House Minor, the ways of the ancient Moritani assassins are being revived in secret training grounds in the Monastery of Dur.

No, Crunchbeef. The Southern Sun needs you!

Kaitan is the homeworld of House Corrino, the seat of Imperial government, and therefore the most important planet in the Known Universe. The Corrinos seized control of the planet from House Carnethian in the wake of the Battle of Corrin, making it their new home after their original homeworld, Salusa Secundus, was devastated by a nuclear attack. Except for its six moons and series of icy rings, Kaitan is extremely similar to Old Earth, abundant with natural beauty and resources. And in fairness to the Corrinos, they’ve made Kaitan a vision of what Imperial government can be at its very best.

Kaitain’s development is under the management of the IPS. Guild satellites control the weather, while the cities are masterpieces of urban planning. In the capitol city of Corrinth, wide boulevards radiate outward like spokes from the Imperial Palace, which houses the Golden Lion Throne and the Landsraad Hall. Poverty is unknown on Kaitain, where even the middle-class suburbs are opulent by the standards of other worlds.

The rest of Kaitain is evenly populated, with the occasional trade city or private resort. Ruins from the early reign of House Carnethian attract archaeologists from across the Imperium, while the Sardaukar War College is strictly forbidden to non-Corrino.

Sikun, governed by the siridar-marquisate of House Tseida, is known as a planet of forests and rivers, where redwoods grow to incredible heights. Unlike Grumman, the planet is graced with mild temperatures and much fertile land, so fruits, nuts, medicinal plants, and mariculture form part of the domestic economy as well as timber. Sikun’s timber industry is known for crystal-teak, a unique translucent wood. Thopters carry passengers across endless forests and high mountain ranges to major cities scattered across Sikun.

House Tseida’s real economy is based on their practice of legal services, covering every field of law from CHOAM contracts to Kanly disputes. Sikun’s legal tradition grew out of the Butlerian Jihad, but the Jihad taught House Tseida that society would turn on any entity that appeared to be accumulating too much power behind the scenes. Therefore, the Tseida took a cue from the Guild and the Sisterhood, and allowed their Houses Minor to each practice their own schools of law independently, while the Great House accedes to the status quo in the Landsraad and maintains a facade of professional disinterest.

Wallach VII takes its name from an unimaginative explorer who simply named all 17 planets in the Laoujian system after himself. The first Navachristian settlers on Wallach VII suffered massive casualties from storms before gaining a foothold and building the city of Tonnerburg. Centuries later, the Sardaukar conquered the planet and established the siridar-barony of House Tonnerburg as Imperial vassals. When House Tonnerburg was overthrown by a rebellion, the Sardaukar general who reconquered the planet was given control. General Banarc changed his family name to Wallach and assumed the siridar-barony.

Wallach is a relatively flat planet, still prone to hurricanes and tornadoes even after centuries of Guild weather control measures. Its economy is a healthy mix of minerals, timber, furs, and other agriculture. Wallach VII’s original capitol, Marasuet city, sits in the center of vast plains and surrounded by military bases, spaceports, and thopter hangars. The new capitol of Banarc City sits on a high precipice over Burseg Bay, and is called “The Rookery” for the large black ravens the Wallachs raise in their royal fortress.

The planet Arrakis, which the natives simply call Dune, is a hot desert planet with two moons that definitely didn’t inspire any science fiction films released in 1977. Besides the polar ice caps, the planet is so hot and so dry that there is zero rainfall and no open water to be found, with salt flats and tidal dust basins where another planet would have seas. Arrakis has been held in quasi-fief by House Harkonnen for 80 years, and it is the richest fiefdom in the Imperium--because despite its incredible harshness, Arrakis is the only source of the spice melange, a drug that is the most valuable commodity in the universe. The spice extends life, and its consciousness-expanding properties are vital to the Bene Gesserit and, even more importantly, the Guild Navigators.

Civilization is only possible in rocky regions in the northern latitudes. The deserts are wracked with Coriolis storms, sandstorms reaching 800kph and capable of reducing a human body to scattered splinters of bone. If the storms don’t get you, then you’re prey for the sandworms, hundreds-meter long megafauna who can sense the vibration of a man walking across the dunes.

If the supply of spice is ever disrupted, Imperial civilization would collapse. Despite this, Arrakis and its spice are poorly understood. The Guild declines to deploy weather satellites or fully map the planet, citing atmospheric disturbances. Imperial planetologists have only scattered stations in the northern hemisphere, and the Harkonnen have no census of how many Fremen survive in the deep desert outside their cities. The truth is, knowledge is power, and the powerful factions of the Imperium are wary of one another gaining too much knowledge of Arrakis, or of being seen to do so themselves.

Mining spice is a guerilla operation; beds of spice suddenly erupt to the surface in “spice blows” where they are hopefully detected by spotter aircraft. Transport thopters drop “sandcrawlers,” tracked vehicles that work frantically to scoop up spice for processing before the nearest sandworm arrives. Arrakis is home to spice smugglers with their own spotters and crawlers, hoping to claim spice beds missed by the powerful Spice Mining Guild.

Carthag and Arakeen are the planet’s only true cities. Arakeen is a small garrison city of only 2 million, while Carthag is a huge city that houses over a third of Arrakis’ documented population. It is also a typically Harkonnen city, with gaudy domes and skyscrapers towering over a wretched peasantry who thirst for the filthy water wrung from Harkonnen rags. In many homes in both cities, environmental seals to control temperature and preserve moisture are the only signs of modern technology. The scarcity of water is the most important fact of life on Dune, producing simple technologies like windtraps and dew collectors to catch what little moisture is in the air, as well as stillsuits, bodysuits which collect almost every drop of moisture shed by the human body. (Realism note: I assume stillsuits have some kind of electric cooling system, or wearing them would be a particularly unpleasant form of suicide, condemning yourself to cook in a person-shaped Crock-Pot.) Still, most of the population’s water is provided by the Water Seller’s Guild, who “mine” the polar glaciers.

The desert is populated only by an unknown number of Fremen, mysterious people descended from Zensunni Wanderers who traveled from planet to planet fleeing religious persecution millennia ago. Out-freyn, speaking an ancient language and practicing a unique religion, they are popularly associated with the smugglers of Dune, and rarely discussed by the other natives of Arrakis. The Fremen live in rocky outcroppings and caves, and practice even more strenuous water discipline than other natives.

Ecaz is almost an earthly paradise, with incredibly fertile forests, jungles, and grasslands. Ecaz is the homeworld of House Vidal, and the primary source of the Imperium’s most exquisite science-fictional plants--fogwood, krimskell vine, and drugs such as sapho and semuta--as well as mundane crops like banana and avocado. Ecaz attracts large numbers of tourists as well as woodcarvers, agronomists, botanists, and other researchers.

Isn’t this planet interesting? Don’t you want to play House Vidal, and rule the other planet where the magic drugs come from, instead of some dry windy planet covered in conifers? Yeah, I thought so.

Hagal is called the Jewel Planet, the homeworld of House O’Garee. Although its largest, richest veins have been mined out, many more wait to be discovered. It is famous for its unique opafire, opaline gems with many glittering colours which decorate the Imperial crown jewels, and Hagalian quartz, from which the Golden Lion Throne is built.

The writeup on Ix is a loving treat, because it’s an excuse for Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson (who acted as consultants on this game) to pitch one of their lovely prequel books. Ix, so named because it is Alkaurops IX, is ruled by House Vernius. It’s an icy planet, covered in tundra and alpine forests, which appears to be completely uninhabited. That’s because its cities are kilometers underground.

Once transported below the surface by suspensor-lift tubes, visitors to Ix will find huge grotto cities where suspensor-driven aircraft flit between massive stalactites, and railways and groundcars are common. Huge projectors create the illusion of an open sky. Aristocrats and important officials occupy the upper levels, while the uniformed commoners work in clean, modern factories. Well-treated and well-paid, these “suboids” have little reason to rebel against the ruling class...were it not for Bene Tleilaxu propaganda! For more information about the suboid rebellion, see Dune: House Atreides by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, published by Bantam, squeezed out of a butthole in 1999!

Richese, home of House Richese, is famed for its technological advances. House Richese fell precipitously when it lost the fiefdom of Arrakis to House Harkonnen, and their technological innovations can’t compete with those of Ix. They tried to consolidate their position through political marriages; Duke Leto Atreides’ mother was a Richese noblewoman. I think Richese is an excellent hook for an Entourage. A House that can offer them not-quite-Ixian gear, in need of allies, with a grudge against the Harkonnen--I could build part of a campaign around that.

One doesn’t speak lightly of Salusa Secundus, the abandoned homeworld of House Corrino. The planet was devastated by atomic weapons, launched by a House which has since been so thoroughly exterminated that not even its name survives. After relocating to Kaitain, the Padishah Emperors maintained Salusa Secundus as a siridar-fief and prison planet, where the Imperium’s most dangerous criminals are sent to spend the rest of what promise to be brief and miserable lives. Even a society that tolerates brutal slavery blanches at reports of a 60% death rate among new prisoners.

Salusa Secundus has a thin atmosphere, which means scorching days, freezing nights, and perpetual windstorms. The planet only has 20% water coverage, most of which is still toxic. The surviving wildlife includes Salusan bulls and laza tigers.

The dirty little secret of Salusa Secundus is that it is not merely a prison planet, but a training ground for the Emperor’s Sardaukar shock troops. Those who can survive the planet’s environment are eligible to be indoctrinated to be loyal to the Corrino, with the potential of wealth and prestige beyond anything they’ve ever known. The current siridar-governor is Burseg Corrin-Ashcraft, a distant cousin to the Emperor, with a reputation for cruel discipline and fanatical elitism even by Sardaukar standards.

Wallach IX, also called Chapter House, is an independent homeworld for the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood. The Sisterhood has made their planet economically self-sufficient through agriculture, and the planet serves as their headquarters and training ground. That’s all we know. For more information, buy the Bene Gesserit Companion, coming soon from Last Unicorn Games! :dawkins:

Tleilax is an out-freyn world, not technically part of the Imperium at all, controlled by the mysterious Bene Treilaxu. Even stranger than the Ixians, the Tleilaxu strictly control access to their homeworld, allowing only a few dignitaries who come to bargain for their strange biotechnology. Like Ix, Tleilax has developed technologies that are considered forbidden and even blasphemous. Whereas the Ixians deal in forbidden electronics and computerization, the Tleilax have mastered biotech and eugenics surpassing even the Sisterhood. Face dancers are shapeshifters who act as jesters and spies, while gholas are clones grown from cells taken from corpses. They have also demonstrated the ability to create prosthetic eyes, and to condition “Twisted Mentats” who exhibit psychopathic personalities and are unbound by the ethics that are a normal part of Mentat training.

Tupile is a planet, or a series of planets, maintained by the Guild as a sanctuary for renegade Houses who opt to go into exile to escape destruction. The Guild refuses to reveal anything about Tupile, and fear of losing their shipping privileges prevents any House from investigating. Perhaps Tupile does not exist at all--no one who seeks sanctuary there is ever heard from again. Still, the Guild sells unique agricultural products that supposedly come from Tupile, such as corepsidon bush ink, schlag hide, and the sondagi fern-tulip.

Next time on Dune: It’s the last chapter, containing Famous NPCs and standard stock characters.

Young Freud
Nov 26, 2006

MJ12 posted:

There's actually three. The corebook suggests that C-SWAT/MAXTAC teams tend to find guys who are going around getting a lot of chrome and handily suggesting they get a tracker and also go into therapy, and that therapy restored IIRC something like 1-2 Humanity points a week until you got back to your original empathy for a small cost.

If you assume that this wasn't an oversight, and it was always intended that you could stabilize your empathy it makes a lot more sense but also retunes the balance to be, again, giant piles of money versus any hard limits.

As to the talk about becoming the Terminator, there was actually an augmentation in one of the CP2020 books which let you shove motors and armor plate on your skeleton. Yeah, you could literally have the Terminator endoskeleton installed into you.

After Elysium came out, Matt Damon's exosuit perfectly embodied CP2020's implanted Linear Frame.

Halloween Jack posted:

I wish someone who is a hardcore CP2020 would review Cyberpunk v3.0. Because I think I kinda get what Pondsmith was going for?

I would be tempted, because me and a friend were playtesters for v3.0. Pondsmith attended Project A-Kon in Dallas I believe in 2005 as a featured guest and to demo v3.0. You bet we were there. We even had an after-game discussion at Sal's Taco Lounge, a former Deep Ellum establishment.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Honestly, GitS is fairly subdued by modern manga standards. Shirow has some exploitative stuff like the infamous sex scene, but at the same time the grand majority of the comic is a straightforward tech-thriller (with tongue slightly in cheek) and Motoko's outfits are so, so much better in the comic. She knows that pants exist, and wears them on the regular. And not just hip-huggers, like. Slacks. It's kind of amazing how other designers (in the anime, other manga adaptations, etc.) have sexualized the character so much more than she was originally. It's definitely not a comic without issues but the anime's outfit always makes my eyebrow twitch.

For instance, Shirow Motoko doesn't have SAC Motoko's badonkadonk.

Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten

Cythereal posted:

Depends heavily on how prepared you are for them and what tricks they do or do not have up their sleeves. At their core, vampires are not incredibly difficult to beat - they're above your typical human, but need the right powers to really be superhuman. Even so, they're typically one of the least threatening supernaturals in the World of Darkness in a straight up fight, and more dangerous for their powers of evasion and manipulation.

Aren't most vampires incredibly easy to kill if you show up at noon? It's been a while since I played Vampire but I recall you have to succeed on some roll to do anything to save yourself from certain death in the middle of the day.

Dec 12, 2016

wdarkk posted:

Aren't most vampires incredibly easy to kill if you show up at noon? It's been a while since I played Vampire but I recall you have to succeed on some roll to do anything to save yourself from certain death in the middle of the day.

Also I'm pretty sure fire still deals Aggravated Damage so a "gas station lighter+can of hairspray" combo could mess them up

Aug 23, 2009

Which hunter group would be the most likely to execute a vampire via blue flamer?

Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

The Union probably

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
Meanwhile, Ashwood Abbey would be most likely to inhale vampire farts.

Aug 23, 2009

Have you ever been farted on by a man who could fly?

Nov 22, 2007
man what

Robindaybird posted:

The Union probably

Union is the best (OK, one of the best) Hunter groups because the effect they have on the local area is that the masquerade actually starts cracking and people start subtly fighting back at supernatural horrors , with things like concealed safehouses, weapons concealed on back porches for people who need one in a hurry, arson cases against supernatural strongholds being closed, etc.

Emily Esser's soul-eating is unusual from a Mage perspective, but presumably her moral compass is strong enough such that the couple of times she ate a human soul from a still-living human (which would count as a sin) she managed to shrug it off - after all, she did feel incredibly guilty about it and probably would even if it didn't kill her inside.
For most Mages, learning that she can eat Beast-souls/Horrors are likely to either have the reaction of "Awesome, tell me more" or "awesome, let's find two beasts so you can eat them but then regurgitate one of them so I can study it".

And yeah, souls in ChroD are basically a supernatural organ. Similarly to how a heart pumps blood, a soul kind of... pumps willpower? Without a soul, your willpower fades and you can't get any back from fulfilling your virtue or vice.

Technically I suppose each person has some kind of 'soul-container' in their metaphysical being that can be different shapes, and a soul fits into it like water into a bucket. Mages intentionally shape their soul-containers in various ways (it's just referred to as shaping a soul, though, since soul-swapping isn't super common) and can chop off a piece of it to make a soulstone.

I suppose this means that theoretically there could be a weird cabal of mages that regularly swap souls around with each other in the same way that tight-knit vampire coteries blood-bond each other.

Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.

Grimey Drawer

bewilderment posted:

I suppose this means that theoretically there could be a weird cabal of mages that regularly swap souls around with each other in the same way that tight-knit vampire coteries blood-bond each other.

They faded out after the Seventies, along with their Ka parties.

Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Robindaybird posted:

The Union probably

Yeah. Task Force Valkyrie has a special flamethrower that shoots green flames and makes vampires freak the gently caress out, even more than from a normal flamethrower while suffering lots of aggravated damage.

Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20

Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes - Heroes:Part 3

Let's get started again.

Marlena Sarcosa: The Sentinel
I cannot and will not let that monster do as he pleases. I do this for my children, for your children, and so no one else will ever have to be his victim.
With a quote like that you're damned right we're getting another sympathetic Hero.


They call her many names in her neighborhood and in the district where her kids go to school. They call her bitch, welfare queen, and the girl who couldn’t keep her legs shut. She knows they whisper these names quietly behind her back, but she does not care. She knows who she is, and what she has to do. She is a mom, and the only words that ever hurt her are the ones that come from her children. As for the rest of the world, she could not care if it does what she says or gets the gently caress out of her way, as she believes only she can protect her kids from the terrors she’s seen in the world.
Oh... okay.


Once, she trusted the system to help her. She was grateful for everything the system provided for her. Her family had a home, and her kids went to school thanks to the system. But, it failed her family when they needed it most, and it cost her Vera, her wife of three years. She lost her when one day Vera came home from a cleaning job talking about the strange woman whose house she cleaned that day. That night, Marlena dreamed of a vast marsh where her feet were stuck in the mud. She watched as Vera strolled through the wetlands, completely oblivious to the creature swimming next to her. She woke up screaming her wife’s name when the creature went to devour her, and, a few minutes later, she received a phone call from the police saying that Vera’s body was discovered in an empty parking lot not far from the house she had been cleaning.
Yup, she's a hispanic lesbian single mother who made so after a beast killed her wife.

The next time she saw the woman, Marlena saw the monster from her nightmares, acting like a human and pretending that nothing had happened. She turned to the system for justice but found none, and then the Beast came for their children. Marlena "Paralyzed the beast with her words" and found the strength to tear it apart with her fists, meaning she somehow had Real World and Vanquisher's Strength Gifts before she had even killed a single Beast. She waited for the Police to come and arrest her but they didn't, for some reason. She once wanted to be a happy homemaker, but Marlena realized that she had no choice but to be a watchful guardian of her children. A part of her died with Vera but she became stronger.

Marlena has changed every part of her life, she works out after seeing her kids off to school, she does brainteasers to keep her mind sharp. She's dedicated herself to fighting a war only she can see. Her guiding light are her four children, two of which are Vera's. Once a beast tried to hold leverage over her through her children, the Namtaru was dredged from the local river in pieces. She traveled with a Band for a while, and still calls on her fellow Heroes from time to time. But she finds them too unfocused and prone to infighting when the real concern is protecting her children.She's never comfortable around others, even around people she knows, because she's known plenty of betrayal in her life. She's seen neighbors turn to drugs, children caught up in gangs, and her ex-wife's trusting nature led to her death. So Marlena sees people for the threats of what they could do, which has served her well in surviving.

Also.. she's really good at making clothes.

She's joined the PTA to keep more abreast of issues that have arisen around her children's school. But keeps up the facade of just being a firebrand speaking up against misallocation of school funds and demanding better grades from teachers in those schools. Truthfully she'd like to stand down from her role as a Hero, she is missing the best years of her children's lives, but she is dedicated to making sure that they're allowed to live those lives.

She's a mom, she carries herself like a police officer most times, when she allows herself to relax she returns to the woman she was when Vera was alive, just infinitely more exhausted. Seriously they're saying the same thing over and over again just in different words.

“You always hear about that mother lion poo poo, right? About how you should never gently caress with a lioness’ cubs or else she will tear your face to ribbons? Well, a buddy of mine learned the hard way. He tried to mess with this checkout girl at the grocery, thinking she would be the one to satisfy his Hunger. Well, that guy’s not a friend anymore. He’s not an anything, anymore.”
AKA. "Skinny guys fight till they're burger"

“Honestly, I hated dealing with that woman. She was the kind of person who would make your life hell just to find out what was really in the Salisbury steak in the cafeteria each day. I used to say I hated her, but then one day she saved my life. I don’t know how she knew I was seeing someone behind my wife’s back, but right before the thing transformed into a skeleton and tried to suck my soul out that woman kicked in the door and kicked that thing’s rear end. Since then, if she asks me for anything, I give it to her. And I’ve never cheated on my wife again.”
She's got tons of information on everyone due to her paranoia but she hasn't tried to blackmail anyone yet. In fact she doesn't risk anyone's lives except her own, only acting on the information she finds.

“We heard there was a witch at the local school. Said she could make a man freeze just by glaring at him and saying something in Spanish. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen her do it. Mr. Bradford came down to the school to try to meet and greet with the parents there, and this woman just cornered him outside of the school. She made Mr. Bradford and his giant gorilla of a bodyguard stand frozen in their tracks like they had been hit by a freeze ray or something. She’s got the whole school wrapped around her finger cause of her sorcery.”
Yeah, no, she has no supernatural powers over anyone who isn't a Beast, she just engages in the debate tactic of "Don't stop talking until they acquiesce." Bradford's bodyguard was a "Alakim" :what: who was using his boss's position to feed. Also Bradford "was a real estate developer who wanted to get the school to agree to raising tuition in order to pay for a new sports center on the premises" because sure?

“You ever notice those run down neighborhoods near 16th and Franklin? The ones that were by that mall that closed? Well, every time I think about going near there something just sets off my senses. It’s like everybody near there knows who you are just by walking by. I can’t even drive by that place without what looks like a few moms in hoodies whispering among themselves and calling the cops. They say there’s some kind of neighborhood watch leader there that’s got the whole place tuned up like a military base, so I stay clear of it as much as possible.”
Marlena is basically a one woman neighborhood watch that delivers on her promises to remove threats.

Plot Hooks


• One of your Brood is finding his name slandered online, which is making it difficult for his human self as he quickly finds himself the target of an online smear campaign. Labeled as a threat to the community, the perpetrator behind this campaign, Marlena Sarcosa, is quickly bringing people over to her side by claiming that your Broodmate is “a ravenous monster in human clothing.”
Oh come right the gently caress on, you specifically said she didn't do this earlier.


• Something is disturbing the Primordial Dream, and the ripples this disturbance is causing are echoing not just in your dreams, but in the dreams of a Hero. The Hero is an adamant foe of all Beasts, but the Primordial Dream hints that by working together you will be able to save the Family. But, whose family is it referring to?

• A Hero has gone on the warpath, rallying her Band to her side and setting herself against any Beast that crosses her path. The Hero’s face is familiar, as she is the grieving mother from the news whose son has gone missing. Her rage is palpable, and she has destroyed a notorious Eshmaki whose Lair was destroyed as an example to all others. No one knows if returning her child to her will calm the Hero’s fury, but the Hero will either lead to the Brood’s destruction or her own.

• Lately, you have heard rumors of a creature moving into the nearby neighborhoods and taking control. No one is sure who he is, but the police refuse to touch him and he manifests strange, unexplainable abilities. Soon the people of these neighborhoods flock to him like a cult, and his power is growing daily. Rumor has it that he used to live on the east side of the city, but was driven out by a Hero there who kept him from entering her neighborhoods. Perhaps she has some clues as to who this person is and where his powers come from.

• Rumors have reached your Brood that a Hero on the east side of the city is finally getting what’s coming to her, and on the news, you hear a story about a mother’s kids kidnapped from their school. While she may have been responsible for a friend’s death, you know that targeting her children will enrage Marlena, and this will be the last straw that drives her towards bringing unending pain and misery upon you and your Brood, unless you act on this.
She gets a lot of plot hooks, but I really like that last one, since it actually holds beasts accountable for the actions of their peers.

Her stat line is actually built like someone who can hold her own in a fight. But she has integrity 7 somehow. So...

Martin Whist: The Silencer
Please be quiet. I can’t think with all this screaming.
And this one is just insufferable. Martin had always been a strong swimmer, and he spent his summers working the beaches as a lifeguard. And it was assumed he'd spend his life on the water, maybe he'd join the navy like his father, or go north to Alaska and get work on a fishing boat. His mother suggested marine biology, his girlfriend wanted him to just keep the sea as a hobby, none of those options seemed particularly good or bad to him. At 17 he stood on the beach and waited for an epiphany to come to him, it didn't. What did happen was some bikers drove by blaring their engines loud enough to rattle the teeth in his skull, and the sound didn't stop even after they left. From that moment on the way he percieved the world was changed, he heard everything. The swish of his pant legs, the pop of his girlfriend's gum, the tak tak tak of his friends on their phone keypads. The noise never stopped.

His grades slipped, he couldn't concentrate, his parents chalked it up to senioritis. His mom finally took him to an audiologist and the test revealed his hearing acuity was well above average but nothing seemed to be wrong. The problem was that it kept getting worse. He couldn't sleep without both earplugs and noise cancelling headphones. He couldn't drive with the radio on, couldn't watch TV, and could barely stand the hum of a computer screen long enough to do homework. In three months he went from a B+ student to failing. His parents took him to a neurologist, but the tests were again inconclusive.

The day spring break began he drove to the beach and dove into the ocean, and for a few brief moments he finally knew peace. The ocean wasn't silent but sound traveled differently and for whatever reason that was enough. He learned how to dive, both with and without SCUBA gear, but with the respite from the noise he could learn to endure.

Then a Makara showed up and tricked him into diving too deep and then the noise came in the water too because Beasts ruin everything. It took him two months to decide to finally kill her, and three months to find her. A co-ed partying with her friends around a campfire too loud for him to stand, he tracked her back to her car and shot her in the back. And again the ocean was quiet. But it didn't last.


Martin did get his boat. His parents aren’t sure where he got the money; they know he got a job after high school and they’re disappointed he never enrolled in college, but they figure with tuition prices what they are, maybe he’s making a smart choice, in the long run. After all, when they read his emails, he seems happy. He won’t talk on the phone, but then he has that weird condition that makes sound so intense. He’s doing all right, they think.

Martin is decidedly not doing all right. The monster he killed was one of many. The oceans are his safe place. He doesn’t even need the whole ocean, just a few miles of coastline, just enough that he can dive and be at peace for a while…but he always hears them. He dives, and he hears the creatures, the obscene, inhuman things that pollute his waters. He marks them, he hunts them, then he kills them, and in so doing, he grows stronger.

As he grows stronger, though, the world around him grows louder. Martin sees this happening, but he cannot stop.
Seriously I'm pretty sure this guy was an Unsub on an episode of Criminal Minds. The Hero's call is manifesting as a psychological condition that he can't control and can't prove and killing is the only way that makes it stop.

Martin doesn't speak unless he has no other choice. He wears earbuds at all times and seldom makes eye contact. He shops online to avoid interaction, and learned ASL to have some method of communication with his followers. And they are quick to learn ASL because he strangled the last guy who just wouldn't shut up. He doesn't want to kill and doesn't particularly enjoy it, but he needs to make the noise stop. He uses long range guns (wearing proper ear protection) as his preferred weapon of choice, the noise is loud but it's brief and he can prepare for it.

Appeareance wise he's a man in his mid 20s with a heavy tan and loose clothing, he wears drawstring pants because he can't stand the sound of a zipper.

“You think you’re safe just because you can swim? Bullshit. You’re not safe. Ahab. Jonah. Perseus. Read the classics; you’ll find all kinds of dudes who can’t wait to set out to sea and conquer it. There’s a reason for that. It’s all the same Hero. I don’t mean it’s literally the Biblical Jonah, but he’s the latest incarnation. He’s on a whaling boat sometimes, other times it’s just a little trawler and he’s there with a big gently caress-off shotgun. He remembers all these other hunts. He’s not just a Hero, he’s the guy who looks at the ocean and thinks, ‘I can beat that.’

“OK, laugh if you want, but that attitude is nuts, right? The ocean covers most of the world, so think about the arrogance it takes to think you know it, or that you can beat it. And yet here’s this guy, this one guy over and over, who keeps taking on the Leviathan, the kraken, the sea serpent, the whale, and winning.”

Martin's dumb enough to take on Makara in the sea, and strong enough to actually do it.

“He’s a smuggler. He runs guns, drugs, and diamonds. Comes out of Mexico, South Africa, Florida, Cuba, wherever, delivers the stuff to buyers in international waters. Killing monsters? I’m sure he’s tagged a couple of us, yeah, but I think it’s incidental. Really, it’s all about the money. Everything else is just him cultivating an image, or people misinterpreting what he’s doing. You ever see him, just sink his drat boat and call it a day.”
Taking on smuggling jobs is how he makes his money, but his followers handle the details, he just drives his boat.

“I saw him once. I was eating conch fritters at a little stand by the ocean in Nassau, and he goes cruising by on his boat. I was talking to Marie — yeah, that’s the one, the one that liked to magic herself a set of gills and swim around by the reef. He looks at us, and I mean, he had to be 50 yards away and his motor’s going loud, but I swear to god, he heard us. I headed inland. I’d heard the stories. You see the Styx, you head for the hills. Marie, she hadn’t heard the stories, or maybe they just didn’t have the same gravity to mages, I don’t know. All I know is she went swimming and I haven’t seen her since.”
Martin has absolutely no compunctions against going inland to kill a Beast if he must, he just prefers to stay near the ocean so he can get into the silence as soon as he makes it happen.



Obviously, Martin Whist works best in a story set on a coast or out on the ocean. His followers are eerily silent, communicating in sign language or with other visual signals, and Martin himself is efficient, fast, and deadly. Here are few possible story hooks using the Silencer:

• A Makara approaches the brood looking for help. She caught Martin’s attention and now she’s afraid she’s marked. She wants to get inland, far from the ocean, but Martin grabbed her laptop, which contains journal entries naming other Beasts, complete with photos. Can the brood help their unfortunate sister? Are their pictures in the journal?

• A representative of the local changeling Court approaches the characters (assuming an established relationship). He tells them that a motley of changelings died off the coast; pieces of their bodies started washing ashore this morning, including that of his brother. He wants to investigate, but the other Lost in the area are understandably terrified of whatever did this, and he himself can’t bring himself to look too closely at what happened to his brother. Why did Martin kill these changelings? How can the brood learn the truth without coming to Martin’s attention? If they tell their changeling friend about Martin, will they also join his inevitable quest for revenge?

• Martin manages to kill an Incarnate. This has a strange effect: It calls up a hurricane, but keeps the eye of the storm focused on Martin’s boat. The eye of the hurricane is calm and silent, and although Martin is finally free of the noise of the world, he is terrified that he will never be able to leave his boat again. Can the characters get to the boat, perhaps using the Primordial Pathways? If they do, how else might this killing have changed Martin Whist?
The last one is actually sort of interesting but... yeah what would happen?

Martin's pretty well statted out, but he's a long distance killer so the group is basically playing against a sniper. Good luck running that game.

Michael Bellinger: Stalker of Beasts
It’s not enough that I kill you. You have to say you’re sorry for every ounce of pain you’ve ever inflicted and brother, you’ve inflicted a lot of pain. Let’s get started!
Let me make this simple.

Dexter, this guy is Dexter.


Michael Bellinger has a peculiar type of story for a Hero. All Heroes are intended to be part of the lesson mankind is supposed to learn from the tale, or at least they are to provide further explanation for the moral of the story. Michael Bellinger is bordering on the opposite of that, or perhaps he represents a new kind of story, born of the 21st century. He is a murderer who is a Hero because of who he murders, and not for who he saves.

Son of hardworking parents who put in extra hours at a rubber factory to ensure their son had the life that they would not. He excelled in school and attended NYU on a scholarship. He was the butt of many jokes with his heavy Tennessean accent and lack of fine clothes or electronics. His first semester he spent working at the campus bookstore and taking out loans to help him survive at college.


It was one night when he was working at the library that he noticed a strange man entering the humanities section. The man would spend many nights there reading books about Greek and Norse mythology, occasionally laughing so hard that it echoed throughout the library. Michael noticed that he could hear the man’s stomach gurgling, and occasionally the stranger would excuse himself to walk the older part of the library where they kept the film and newspaper archives.

One day, as Michael was returning old research magazines to their holders in the archives, he heard the man laughing again, and this time a young woman was screaming in fear. Michael hurried up the metal steps of the archives and peered down the hallway. What he saw made little sense to him. A young woman had passed out at a cubicle, and above her stood the man, but he was no longer just a human being. It was as if the space of the library had stretched around him, and the man appeared like a giant of legend, with one great peering eye coming out from his forehead. In that moment, Michael saw wisps of light flow from the woman and into the giant, who seemed to hungrily devour them. The giant, not noticing that Michael had discovered him, seemed to shrink back to his normal size and left the library.

Michael called the campus police to help the woman but didn't tell them what he saw. She told him that she had dreamed that a large man pursued her through a valley and tore everything around her apart with her bare hands and ate it. This dream set Michael on his first hunt.

He gave a mathematician a cup of coffee with a sleeping pill and waited for the Giant to feed. He felt drawn to the Giant but didn't feel helpless, he was completely in control of his actions, and with the help of the hunting knife his dad had given him he slit the beasts throat before he knew he was there. The beast choked out "It should not be this easy" on his own blood and tried to get away but Michael killed him with another flick of his blade, feeling the rush of energy flow through him.

Since then killing Beasts has become his life's work. He doesn't feel the same attraction to others that he does to Beasts, in fact he's tried killing normal people but gets no satisfaction from it. He tracked down a vampire and it did nothing for him, only Beasts fit the deal. But he knows that if he gets too obsessed with hunting Beasts he can't pull himself back in. He lost his job at the library hunting a Makara in Aruba, and almost lost his scholarship when his academic advisor demanded to know why he was wasting so many credits on Greek mythology on a medical scholarship. Despite all of this he graduated and has a job as a psychiatrist in a private mental health clinic.

He's had several close calls with the Police when he was starting out, and it was lonely for him at the start, but he's overcome the problems and has begun to excel at what he does. His primary method of hunting is observation, learning everything he can about his victim (favorite foods, their favorite victim) he hates surprises and his meticulous planning contains room for a wide number of wildcards that can come up as he hunts. When he finally moves he strikes swiftly and brutally, leaving no room for compassion or mercy. He tries to trap the Beast in public away from their Lair, if forced to fight in a Lair he makes sure to know his escapes, after a time when an Anakim managed to give him a nasty dragonfire scar across his back.


For Michael, savoring the kill comes after a successful hunt. He knows he cannot afford to stop after killing a Beast and observe his kill, and he knows he cannot afford to take any trophies. The only thing he dares leave behind with his victims are small generic calling cards that say “You’re welcome” on them. The police have picked up on the calling card at several brutal murders across many different cities and have created a file on what they believe is a serial murderer. So far, his low number of kills has kept Michael low on the priority list for the FBI, but as he continues to kill more Beasts, he becomes a greater priority for them.

On the Beasts' part, they're divided. On the one hand... wait.. I'm going to quote this for posterity.


On one hand, he is serving a valuable part in his story by being the Hero the Primordial Dream needs him to be. The Primordial Dream, in its unknowable wisdom, has bestowed its gifts upon him and made him an effective minion of destruction.
What is this? Beasts admitting that Heroes serve a purpose?


What many Beasts find disturbing is the strange nature of this Hero. Many Beasts recall tales in the Primordial Dream that have brave heroes championing cities, or overcoming overwhelming odds to save their families. Michael is a brutal killer whose methods seem to suggest he is different from other stories. One Ugallu scholar suggested that Michael is the result of modern stories intruding upon the Primordial Dream, where he is a version of the Great Hunter whose story is as an obsessive killer. Surely, his methods are not that different from a hunter. He observes his prey, and stalks them carefully before striking and bringing them down.
Holy poo poo, like, actual good storytelling design. The idea of Stories evolving and changing and pulling both Beast and Hero down along their path rather than NOPE CAMPBELLIAN EPIC 24/7 SUBVERT SUBVERT.

He's ingratiated himself into modern society because he's a high end doctor. But he forms no lasting friendships or relationships. Everything he does is out of practicality to separate himself from the murderous persona he maintains outside of the public eye.



Michael is 5'11", and dresses to fit in wherever he is. He intentionally keeps his hair buzzed short and wears a hair piece so that he can change his identity when it suits him. Often, he will wear a bulky winter coat or zip up hoodie to help him hide his knives, and he meticulously grooms himself to try to keep down any body odor. When keeping a low profile, he smokes cigarillos and cheap cigarettes to keep a heavy tobacco stench around him, but when stalking Beasts he makes sure he is clean and his clothing does not contain the smell. His paranoia will not let him venture out into the world if he thinks his appearance will give him away. He wears flashy jewelry when he is out in public but does not keep anything on his person that could identify him.

His second most distinguishing feature that his coworkers will tell you about is his frequent nose bleeds. Michael suffers from a rare form of hypertension, and, at times, his nose bleeds for no reason at all. He relies upon this illness to excuse himself from others, using it as a means to get away from people he does not want to be around as well as providing a convenient excuse for allowing him to slip away.
Someone put a lot of work into thinking this guy's stuff out. He's creepily detailed and functional.

“I had a run in with something that disturbed me to my core. I’m not saying that lightly, considering you’ve seen how I feed. I found this man waiting for me in my Lair, and he looked as calm as could be. Most Heroes look prepared for a fight, and some even have that same loving smug look on their faces. This guy is just standing there like he’s upset that I’m late for an appointment. He very quietly picks up this cleaver, which very quickly didn’t feel like any cleaver I’ve ever felt, and fights me like I’m…like I’m loving boring him to do so! The worst part was the fact that I had to run for my life, as I couldn’t stop this fucker. Feels creepy as poo poo, and I’m a loving creepy guy!”
The suggestion the book gives is just throwing weak and ineffectual beasts at him until he loses his lust for the hunt because he finds them boring and stolid, and goes back to murdering people again. Which is kind of hilarious.

“Dr. Bellinger has saved my life, and I don’t mean that in a cheesy way. When I came to him, I had a stalker, and he was hurting my life. He was always following me around, and I swear I saw him in my dreams as this ravenous serpent that would poison everything I held dear. I know, that’s anthropomorphizing my own fears on my stalker, but Dr. Bellinger didn’t treat me like someone who needed a lecture. He listened to me, and, more importantly, he helped me. He told me he pulled some strings and he got the police to take care of that rear end in a top hat permanently. I was so happy that I think I dreamed about Dr. Bellinger fighting the serpent, and though it was a really bloody dream, it felt good to watch him hack that thing to pieces. He’s my hero.”
Though he excels at and feels intense gratification from his kills, he does actually care about his clients. He's a humanitarian at heart. Even those that don't have problems relating to Beasts get his full and undivided attention when they come to see him, and he makes himself available after hours for emergency calls as long as they don't interfere with his Hunt. He uses his practice to do genuine good in the world outside of fulfilling his need for violence.

“I had the weirdest run in with a human in Natick. I was separated from my pack and doing our weekly booze run when I noticed I was being followed by this man in plain clothes. I didn’t know if he was being ridden by something or was serving those Pure bastards but I thought I’d turn the tables on him. I lured him into a nearby cemetery and prepared to pounce on him when I discovered that he had planned on me luring him there. He had hidden a high caliber rifle in one of the trash cans and was blowing holes in my hide, all with this slow and steady precision like he wasn’t surprised at the massive wrecking machine that was now standing before him. After a few minutes, he stops firing and just stares at me with his creepy brown eyes, and he frowns and starts to pack up his rifle. I bellowed at him to finish the fight, and he just said, “I’m terribly sorry, but you are not what I am looking for.” How about that? I get all ready to loving kill this guy and he acts like we just had a first date! I was so loving stunned that I stood around for 30 seconds with my mouth open like an idiot. By the time I tried to find him he had already got away!”
Michael has no real affection for killing anyone but a Beast, and doesn't seek out knowledge of supernaturals that aren't Beasts. That said if he knows that a mass murdering vampire will cause more problems alive than dead, he will kill it. He'll just complain the entire time.

Plot Hooks


• Something is disturbing the Primordial Dream. Visions of hunger are slowly showing a predator who walks in the shape of a Hero. These visions show a methodical stalker appearing on the horizon, and following his prey from afar before striking to kill. Though you just regard it as a dream, when you describe the image of the stalker to your Brood you learn that one of them has seen this man recently, and wonders if he was following her…

• Someone destroyed a local Namtaru who was known for trying to keep her Hunger in check. Some Beasts even say that she had discovered a new way to satiate her Hunger before she disappeared. The only information on what happened to her is a mysterious note left behind in her Lair saying “You’re welcome.”

• A member of the Brood has been framed for murder, and the police are actively hunting him. Several other people in the city are also suffering from a similar frame job, one of them a Hero named Michael Bellinger. He offers a truce to the Brood and to share what he knows about the police chief responsible for the allegations, and wishes to meet on neutral grounds. The Brood knows Bellinger’s reputation, but they need his help, if they think they can trust him.
I love the idea of Beasts being afraid of what a Hero can do to the Hive. Also I'm pretty sure that last bit is a Dexter plot.

His statline is fine, I do love the idea of Beasts being completely incapable of dealing with a 90's antihero.

Tereza Markusa: Dead Eyes
Show me your insides, monster. If you have what I want, you die. If not, I turn you over to them. Trust me, Death is better.
And we have achieved peak stupidity. The writeup is even short and low effort.


Tereza spent her adolescent and teenage years getting into fights, shoplifting, trying out as many drugs as possible, and painting nihilistic wall murals wherever it was forbidden. She attracted plenty of flunkies who tried to be just like her, but never quite understood that she wasn’t any kind of rebel. She just couldn’t find satisfaction. The world appeared dim and dismal to her, promising nothing but asking too much, gray and cold and filled with empty people. The human race seemed doomed to labor mindlessly until it evaporated with the oceans or blew itself to kingdom come. Nothing helped — narcotics, alcohol, danger, sex, violence: all disappointments. Was she destined to succumb to the crush of society, after all? Was there nothing to set her apart, nothing to inject life into existence?
Seriously this is plot shorthand for "TEENAGE REBELLION!"

Anyways, her parents kicked her out and she kept going in and out of jail. On her third visit she dreamed of a vast canvas that she painted with bright colors. Then black spotches marred her canvas and it buckled and warped. For the first time in her life she felt truly alive and needed to get rid of whatever was marring her canvas and wake the world up. When she murdered the beast who was the warden of the facility she felt a rush of power, like taking a breath after years of drowning.

She was transferred to a high security facility and she began to despair, longing for another rush and fearing a return to monotony. To her surprise a lawyer and a corporate suit came to see her, asking her questions about the creature: what it was, how she knew it was there, how she managed to kill it. Then they offered her a job doing it full time, complete with a clean slate.

She was hired by Cheiron Group.

As long as she kept bringing samples back they'd let her kill to her hearts content, and upgrade her besides.

When she killed her first Vampire though, it felt wrong, no rush, no paint dreams, no wakeup call. Then the scientists told her that she wouldn't undergo the upgrades just yet because they found some anomalies and needed to run more tests. And they wondered why she hadn't tracked down another monster in her dreams. She went on another killing spree killing creature after creature trying to get the same rush, keeping her extracurricular activities a secret from her employers lest they send her back to jail.

It took months before another painting nightmare led to another Beast, and she hid that from the company too. Choosing to kill it and scratch her itch rather than bring it back to the researchers to study. She's kept up this cycle, killing way more than her quota and killing Beasts off the books, this makes her a liability but she's obviously too dumb to care given how she's written. She's also trying to figure out what's going on all on her own. What makes some monsters different, why does she have powers without the surgery, she wants to improve her tracking ability as that will make her more valuable to the company but she's having trouble figuring it out on her own.

She's a rebel disgusted by becoming a corporate drone but she needs her cover to keep killing. She wants Beasts, to kill, Cheiron wants them alive. This is a problem.

Also she's a painter and a trendsetter and blah blah blah.

“I’m told she dropped the werewolf like she was making breakfast, and when she went after his brood, she was like a rabid animal. They barely got out of there; she could run faster than her bike and she had a dozen soldiers with her. Watch your back. She’s got it out for us, and she’s not alone.”
I'm sorry but nooooope, she's not strong enough to kill a Gauru form werewolf, almost nothing short of a Demon going loud is. I don't care that this isn't the explanation they give for this in the rumor blurb, nope.

“Who, Dead-Eyes Markusa? Man, have you ever been out on a hunt with her? She’s crazy. I heard from Jamaal she takes on targets by herself, no implants, no nothing. She never smiles, never gets angry, and never even blinks. I bet she pisses ice water. Jamaal thinks they took out her soul when they recruited her.”
Apparently she's good enough that she's got actual Hunters scared.

“She’s really here? You’re kidding! I have to see her again. You should have seen the way she moved, how she lit up the floor…the whole place worshipped her, but she never said a word until that guy tried to grab her rear end. She wrestled him down, broke his arm, and beat the crap out of three of his buddies. This time, I’ll find out her name.”
Ugh..... SHE'S SUCH A REBEL EVERYONE WANTS TO BE HER LOOK AT HER WONDERFUL ART SHE'S SO GREAT AND gently caress it can i be done with this chapter already.

Plot Hooks


• The characters stumble upon evidence that someone working for the Cheiron Group has launched a secret investigation into Tereza’s secrets. Further poking around reveals who she works for and, if the characters didn’t already know, that she’s a
Hero with ties to the Primordial Dream. They have the opportunity to aid the investigator and potentially shut down an enemy, but in doing so they’d be helping an organization that dedicates itself to hunting monsters down and harvesting their powers.
They can see that the investigation is on the wrong track, though, and left unchecked, Tereza forces a confrontation with the characters one way or another — even if no Beast lives among them.

• Tereza’s hunters harry a local coterie of vampires to the point of desperation. The vampires find out somehow that the Hero in charge of the hunter cell is after Beasts and will do anything to get her hands on them. They decide to give her what she wants, luring the brood with promises of an alliance and then betraying it in an ambush designed to turn them over to Dead-Eyes Markusa in exchange for leaving the vampires alone.

• Tereza has found an ally in seeking answers: a mage from the local Consilium. Together, they delve into the Hero’s dreams to solve the Mystery of her connection to the Children. With the help of magic, Tereza’s close to working it out, but the mage’s brute force interference has disturbed the local hive. Any Beasts in the area notice something’s not right and can try to trace the disturbance back to the pair. Can they make a friend of the mage before Tereza becomes even more dangerous? Or will they end up inadvertently helping the investigation out by getting involved?
Seriously she is a hunter with Hero powers, she isn't a Hero. This is so loving dumb.

This chapter is done. I am done with dumb Heroes.

Next Time: We've completely ignored what it means to be a Hero, how about we start loving with the rules about how Beasts work. Good. Good.

Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

I just realized blue flamer didn't mean what I thought it did

Apr 6, 2011

Polaris RPG(2016)
Part 11, Book 1, Chapter 1: The World of the Deep, section 1.2: Civilizations of the Deep

The book makes you map out your character's past life up until the point they become an adventurer so the thread's rogue magician will need some background information wrt hometown size, social class, education and past places of employment. The book's selection of career options has some really arbitrary limits but I'll figure out a way to shoehorn your choices into what the book lets us.

Meanwhile, here's the first half of the Wizard UN, the faction that will be hunting our character for his/her unlicensed use of magic. The second half of their background is hidden between the minor powers and independent stations.

The Cult of the Trident

Almost a reasonable flag but then they had to go and put that wireframe stuff on the bottom.

The Cult lives around Rockhall, a curious misspelling of Rockall, made all the stranger by the fact that the French name for Rockall is also just Rockall.

Rock(h)all was first settled in 127 but it took until 251 for somebody to find what may or may not have been a genetician depot. It's discovery caused a heat flow to form(weird tube shaped thermoclines that have no basis in reality) and in 256, the community of Trident was formed. In 340, they upgraded to the Trident Alliance and in 348 they discovered the Polaris Effect, accidentally killing 112 people with it. A year later they decide to build the great city of Equinox in the Ariadne Trench(a fictional location as far as I can tell from google), defended by the heat flow and friendly cetaceans. Construction was crowdfunded from across the entire world, starting in 350 and finishing in 365. While this was going on in 352, Leori Arimatti hypothesised that the Polaris Effect outbursts might be caused by people and in 373 the Cult of the Trident was founded by Simon Arimatti(book doesn't say but I think that's a son) and Piotr Devrac(never mind that this guy lives on literally the opposite side of the world and was fighting a major war at the time) with Simon becoming the Cult's first Demeter(all ranks are named after classical gods/goddesses, Demeter being the title for the overall leader). The Cult became the public face of the Trident Alliance and sent out specialists across the world to gather all Polaris users.

Good times lasted until 440, during which the Sol becoming the new global currency, the S.M.S.O and the Fellowship of the Watchers were established and Ariadne became a major hub for trade and science, as well as a haven for fertile individuals. At the end of that time, somebody named Tristan Lesark threw a tantrum about the Cult's progressiveness and left with 100 cultists and a bunch of ships which returned in 448 as the Black Sun Fellowship(literally death eaters from Harry Potter). The Cult and the BSF have been at war ever since. In 560, Equinox is the greatest trade and diplomatic hub in the world(you mean it wasn't already for the past two centuries?) but 2 million people can not live together without devolving into constant free for all gang warfare(what) so the Watchers have their hands full keeping the peace in their city. To make matters worse, a spy war happened between 567 and 568 with severe effects on the Trident's security services and it's leader, Sernea(this war and it's long lasting effects are never brought up again).

The Cult of the Trident recruits it's members from all across the world and does not discriminate based on gender or mutation status, serving only as a neutral institution to prevent mankind's extinction(as opposed to kidnapping and brainwashing all magic users, as was said on the previous page). The Cult is ruled by those who can control the Polaris Effect. They can be recognized by their Inhibitors, metal headgear with which they can control the side effects of their powers(imagine Psychic Hoods from Warhammer 40k redesigned by Apple) and live on the highest levels of Equinox. Demeter has six advisors all named Prometheus as well as two lower ranked underlings called Janus(spokesperson) and Nemesis(function unknown). The bulk of the Cult's 25.000 members are not wizards and are also given vaguely relevant classical mythological names, those being the Orpheus(diplomats), Lares(administrators), Vejovis(Scientists) and Hermes(missionaries). They manage the day to day affairs of Equinox and the S.M.S.O.. Aside from the official orders, there is also Neptune Division led by Sernea, who specialize in counter espionage since all major powers keep trying to infiltrate the Cult. They also control a few of the largest corporations in the world, those being Cortex(pharmaceutics), Hellion Laboratories(hybrids), Aeris(hyperfluids), Gladius(shipbuilding) and Solaris(mint). Ariadne, the second city of the Cult, is where all fertile citizens live, who are given all available luxuries in exchange for their cooperation with genetic research. Equinox itself has about 3 million inhabitants(things Tessier can't keep straight: Whole numbers below 5), mostly ordered by geography with each nation of origin clustering around their embassy though all are ruled by the Watchers.

Ariadne is located underground in the Rock(h)all Plateau while Equinox floats in the heat flow above with Ariadne being the main transit hub in and out of Equinox as the safe passages through the heat flows are constantly fluctuating. The whole area is covered by hidden Watcher stations and Ariadne is tightly segregated with it's residential sections completely off limits to outsiders. Equinox is a giant d8 four kilometers across(which means that it completely dwarfs the Keryss dome, the "largest megastructure" in the world) that floats -200 to -2.200 meters based on currents. The largest central level is surrounded entirely docking bays filled with ships from all over the word due to S.M.S.O demanding yearly visits from representatives of every single station. Six levels in either direction around those are the commercial districts where everything(and everybody) is for sale if one knows where to look. Smugglers and pirates run rampant here and the Watchers only rarely intervene, mostly only if gunfights threaten to spill over into the higher floors. Above the trade levels are four floors of embassies surrounded by luxury residential wards in the styles of the nation of origin. Above those are the quarters for the Cult members themselves while the city maintenance, production and defence systems are located below the market levels.

Armed Forces
The Cult of the Trident has no official army, relying entirely on the Fellowship of the Watchers for protection(literally not a single sentence in the book even vaguely supports the idea of the Watchers being independent from the Cult) though some whisper that Neptune Division has combat units as well. The Cult does have a large fleet of monastery ships that travel across the entire world, always escorted by Watcher warships(what is Watcher independence?).


-Jason Helio(Demeter)
The ruler of Cult of the Trident is also their greatest wizard. He has perfect mastery over all manifestations of the Polaris effect and does not need an Inhibitor. He is 113 years old, completely emotionless and it is unknown if he is fertile or not. His opponents accuse him of using his mind control powers to influence people he meets, being behind the Shadow Ambassador(this is the only time that the book will bring up that name so I have no idea what it is) or even being a Genetician. He also has some kind of shadowy relation with the Other; that's not-Voldemort leading the not-Death Eaters over at the Black Sun Fellowship, speculation being that the Other is manifestation of his subconscious. Either way, nobody except maybe Sernea knows his motives(I'd be pretty insular too if me thinking too hard causes Wizard Hitlers to pop into existence).

-Jessica Melindros(Janus)
The 68 old intermediary between Demeter and the rest of the Cult. Talented public speaker but a lovely wizard.

-Marus Delvion(Orpheus)
Intermediate between the Cult and other nations. Good diplomat, no age given.

Head administrator of Equinox(which would make him a Lares according to the title descriptions two pages back, what's the point of even having these titles if Tessier can't even remember what they are?) and known by the nickname "The Butcher of Equinox" due to having to make many Hard Choices™ during his reign like torching a quarter of the city's population during a plague outbreak and many bloody riot suppressions(I wonder which 40k book Tessier copied this guy from). Lopteros claims he doesn't regret any of his actions due to being too busy with managing the city to ponder morality. Lopteros is 92 years old and sterile.

Jason Helio, who has apparently transcended the need for a full body drawing like the other faction leaders.


Population: 1.200
Depth: -300m
Fertile population: 50%
Mutant population: 99%
Carion is a leper colony for those with the Contagion mutation. Only Watchers and Cult scientists are allowed to interact with the inhabitants.

Population: variable
Depth: variable/-6.900m
Fertile population: variable/78%
Mutant population: variable
Equinox is the capital of Cult of the Trident and Ariadne is it's second city. Both are surrounded by many Watcher stations.

Population: 200
Depth: -3.400m
Fertile population: 19%
Mutant population: 2%
Monastery station and resupply site for monastery ships headed for the Hegemony and Red League. Rumoured to have a secret underground genetic research lab and/or training site for Neptune Division. Recently got attacked by unknown aggressors, which damaged a monastery ship.

Next time: The last of the major powers, the Mediterranean Union.

e: typo

Asehujiko fucked around with this message at 22:02 on Apr 15, 2017

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Robindaybird posted:

I just realized blue flamer didn't mean what I thought it did
He tagged with Goldust, remember?

The Sin of Onan
Oct 11, 2012

And below,
watched by eyes of steel
we dreamt
Jesus Christ this thread moves quickly. Following on from "Heroes who are basically Hunters," it's "Hunters who are actually Hunters."

Hunter: Tooth and Nail – Part One: When the Calling Comes

Everyone in this thread already knows what Beast: the Primordial is – and we are all very big fans – and I'm sure you all know what I'm about to tell you about Hunter, but here is a bit of context for those who, for some reason, might not. Hunter: the Vigil is a Chronicles/New World of Darkness game line about being a (usually) ordinary person who tries to kill, capture, document, study, or protect themselves and others from the various monsters that you play in other lines. Its initial run had three books dealing with hunting the three major lines of the New World of Darkness, or NWoD; Vampire, Mage, and Werewolf, and some other interesting little oddities like Slasher, a book about hunting (or playing as) serial killers with a supernatural bent.

Fairly recently, the second edition of NWoD, Chronicles of Darkness, was released, and along with it a book for Hunter called Mortal Remains. Mortal Remains is a rules update for Chronicles of Darkness, but it also contains rules and organisations for hunting the NWoD game lines that the previous books had not covered; Prometheans, Changelings, Mummies, Sin-Eaters, and Demons. It's a decent enough book. It contains a baffling number of Compacts and Conspiracies (Hunter organisations) devoted to hunting the relatively harmless and not-terribly-interesting-at-least-to-me mummies (two), and an equally baffling number (zero) devoted to hunting the True Fae, the biggest arseholes in a game world not short on giant arseholes, but apart from that I've not looked too closely at it and don't have any major faults to talk about.

One thing you may notice is that Beasts were not on the above list of critters featured in Mortal Remains. This is because Beast: the Primordial was only a fever-dream in the mind of Matthew McFarland when Mortal Remains was released. It was, however, a $93,000 stretch goal for the Beast Kickstarter to have a tie-in supplement to Mortal Remains (itself a supplement, for some interesting supplement recursion) featuring Beasts, which the Kickstarter ended up exceeding by more than $20,000. That supplement, Hunter: the Vigil – Tooth and Nail, dropped a few days back now.

And yes, by saying this, and admitting that I have it, I am admitting that I was one of those people dumb enough to back the Kickstarter. I naively assumed, as Onyx Path were producing good work with lines like Demon, that they would continue to do so, and so backed Beast without really reading much about it. Heaven will judge me for this lapse. This review is a penance of sorts.

With that personal note:

Tooth and Nail is thirty-seven pages long including the various art pages, the not-at-all-superfluous-for-a-PDF title and back pages, and the obligatory intro fiction. It ought to be said that, while it is officially a Hunter book, it makes a certain degree of sense for analysing it to treat it as the first Beast supplement, and that's more-or-less how I'll be reviewing it; as a book effectively in both lines.

The credits page starts out with the following note:

Again, I take my share of the blame for this book. :smith:

Like all NWoD books (possibly all OWoD ones as well; I've never owned any), it opens with a short story to set the mood, When the Calling Comes. We're going to linger on it, because it's offensively stupid, as with most Beast-related things that aren't stupidly offensive. I'm not sure how much of the text I can get away with reproducing and how much counts as :filez:, so this will mostly be a summary with some quotations.

You might expect a story from a supplement on hunting Beasts to contain the act or activity of hunting a Beast. You'd be wrong, idiot. It's not even about people who hunt Beasts. It is actually, as you will see, about a man who killed a Beast but wasn't supposed to, and how he and his partner are punished for it by a group of Hunters.

Let that sink in for a moment.

The story opens with a trope that a lot of RPGs seem to attempt, and one which they never really seem to pull off; the old 'retell a classic/well-known story, but with a shocking twist that changes the theme.' They did it for that Scorpion clan-book for Rokugan; I only know this from the excellent F&F review, and I found what they did to an innocent Aesop fable shocking alright, but not for the reasons the writer presumably wanted. White Wolf themselves did it in the NWoD book Inferno, all about demons (in the classic 'hell-spawned monsters that feed on human sin' mould, not the Cold War-esque renegade angels from the God-Machine of the game line Demon: the Descent), riffing on 'Footprints,' a short story about God and a man walking down a beach with which I'm sure you're familiar, if (in a personal digression) you have the kind of relatives who know you're not religious but buy you a new Bible every birthday anyway. That one kind of worked, but not well.

This one just puzzles me. It's another story about God and a man, which I've heard before but don't know the name of. The setting is a church, with a priest (Brother Devon) delivering this as part of a sermon.


“Man’s stranded on an island. A boat comes by and offers to take him away. He says thanks, but I prayed, and God’s gonna come save me.” The crowd trail him with its [sic; also WoD editing is rather hit-and-miss, by the way] eyes, through every twist and turn. Brother Devon spoke with a slow, folksy, rhythmic drawl, almost hypnotic.

“Then a prop plane lands on the island. They offer him a seat when they leave. He says thanks, but I prayed, and God’s gonna come save me.” The people look amongst each other, nodding, listening along.

“Weeks pass. He runs out of food. He cries out to God. Asks why he’s been forsaken. God parts the heavens, and says I sent ya a boat, and I sent ya a plane. What else do you want from me? And you know what happened next?”

The crowd is treating this as a rather more riveting story than it is, “through every twist and turn,” even though the story says in the next paragraph after the ones I've quoted that “Even the children knew how the tale ended.” The thing is, in most versions of the story that I've heard, the story ends there. God comes down and points the obvious out to the man. We learn that God moves in mysterious ways and that, if he wants to help you, he won't come down in a blast of trumpets to fix everything; he'll send you an opportunity, which you have to take. The story doesn't linger on what happens to the man.

Devon doesn't finish the story here. He clarifies that the man dies, “because God answered, but he didn't listen back,” and then chastises his flock for not listening to the signs that God is sending them. That is the twist ending, and it's really just an explanation of the story, with added gory detail. It's really just an extended segue into the actual action of the story. Why am I talking about it in such depth, then? Because it takes up a third of the intro fiction and it's pointless. It is exactly as pointless as I have made it sound, and neither makes you re-evaluate the original story nor adds any value to When the Calling Comes. Why it is here, in the book of a company that I know cares quite a bit about page count, is baffling, especially as there are some rather weird omissions later in the book that could probably have used some extra words.

He singles out a particular woman in the crowd, Sister Miriam, and her partner, as having not listened for God's signs. Miriam's partner Zeke is “sweating bullets,” and is obviously guilty of something, but Devon decides to interrogate her instead. She initially assumes it's about the fact that she's together with Zeke without being married, but Devon makes it clear that it's actually about Zeke, not her. Miriam confronts Zeke, angry and in tears, and Zeke breaks down and admits his sin; he killed a Beast. In a book about killing Beasts.

Reading further into Tooth and Nail, these guys are obviously one of the new Compacts, the Reckoners. We'll talk more about them later, but the thing about the Reckoners that makes them special, and stupid, is that they don't hunt Beasts. They hunt Heroes, supposedly because Heroes do more collateral damage, kill more civilians than the Beasts they're trying to kill. Zeke makes it clear that the Beast he killed was itself killing people (and is therefore exactly the kind of monster that a Hunter would be entirely justified in killing), but Miriam treats him as if he was the one murdering innocents, as if he will progress to murdering innocents; in short, as if he were exactly what Beast the game line wants you to believe a Hero is. You see, there is almost as much space in this book devoted to hunting Heroes as there is to hunting Beasts – mechanics for Heroes, Dread Powers for Heroes, Compacts that hunt Heroes. This book is as much a Hero-hunting book as a Beast-hunting book, and where parts of it actually treat Heroes like the survivors that they are, indeed as a sort of Hunter or a somewhat dangerous ally to Hunters (due, I assume, to the influence of Monica Valentinelli, the Hunter Designer named in the credits), the book takes a very McFarland approach to them in many places, as you probably won't be surprised to hear. If it sounds weird that a book about Hunters, the people who seek out and kill various supernatural creatures for various reasons, has space for Hunters who kill Heroes, the people who seek out and kill very specific supernatural creatures for very specific reasons... it is. There is no answer to that.

The story implies pretty heavily that Zeke is a budding Hero; he even claims to have received a calling from God to kill the Beast. Devon argues that the call was in fact from the devil, and gives Miriam a gun to kill her partner with. He tells Miriam that he's making her kill Zeke as part of a genuine calling from God, in a convoluted series of phone-related metaphors involving him repeating the phrase “Ring. Ring.” It is as dumb as it sounds.

Devon posted:

God don't leave a voicemail.


So Miriam insists Zeke can be redeemed, he can repent. What he is repenting of is a bit of a mystery; when we reach the Reckoners, we will see that they don't have a very clear ideology as laid out in the book, and that, while they primarily target Heroes, there's really nothing in their entry that says killing Beasts is even a sin. In fact, there's a bit saying that they explicitly kill Beasts from time to time “out of necessity, defence, or tactical reasons,” which sounds like pretty good grounds to get poor old Zeke off the hook, since the Beast he killed was loving murdering people.

Miriam is furious, but ultimately can't kill her lover. Devon doesn't like this, and neither does the rest of the congregation.


“He can do better! He can repent!” She snapped to Devon, but with the gun still at Zeke’s head.

“Ring. Ring.” Devon repeated.

“drat it!” She snapped, and dropped the gun. “I can’t. We can’t. When do we have to call ourselves the monsters, Brother Devon?” She bounded forward, kneeling and wrapping Zeke in an embrace. “We’ve got to give chances, or we won’t make it to see the end.”

Devon stepped back, receding into the crowd. “We’re sorry. We can’t come to the phone right now. Please leave a message...” [still dumb]

The deafening crack of a pistol pierced the room. Miriam held tight to Zeke, crying openly. Her white shirt revealed a gaping, red hole. Zeke pulled closer. His back - revealed a similar but larger hole; it pierced through the both of them.

Then another crack.

Then another.

Then another.

End scene.

For a game that's all about how evil jocks and trolls are, Beast is remarkably hostile to intellectual analysis and rational thought. Like most of the core Beast book's fiction, When the Calling Comes is thematically incoherent, poorly written, and kind of repugnant. Much of it is superfluous, the metaphors only make Devon look like an idiot, and it ends with the spectacle of the congregation killing a couple for no real reason.

Having just finished reading the Tradition Book: Hollow Ones F&F, I am now aware of the notion of the Chupp Test, an informal test that White Wolf at least used to run their splatbooks through, which Halloween Jack summed up as “Does the book make you want to play Splat X, even if you didn't before?” If Tooth and Nail is a splatbook, and in a way it is, does the intro fiction make you want to play a Hunter who hunts Beasts or Heroes – a Hunter who engages with any of the material in this book? Arguably two instances of hunting occur in When the Calling Comes; Zeke killing the Beast, and the congregation killing Zeke and Miriam because Zeke might be a Hero. The more interesting and sympathetic one happens off-screen, and we don't get to see any of the details that made Zeke do what he did. Was he threatened directly, and fought back in self-defence? Was he standing up to defend the innocents the Beast was killing? Did he feel the call to glory that Heroes supposedly feel? Was it secretly just for the glory of the kill, or some other selfish motive? We don't see his action, so it's not really interesting or exciting; it doesn't feel like a motivator to be a Hunter, because we only know in broad terms what he did or why. This leaves the congregation killing Zeke and Miriam. Zeke, who kills the Beast that's murdering innocents, and Miriam, who stands up to her cult leader (which is what Devon is, come on) and refuses to kill her partner for this “crime,” are the sympathetic characters – I'd be amazed if even the authors meant Devon and the congregation as such – and they both get shafted pretty badly. Are we meant to relate to the congregation as one of them, neither named nor described, shoots this young couple? They're a faceless crowd; their only real viewpoint character is Devon himself, and Devon is a cult leader who plainly rules through charisma (not really shown in the story) and fear. Notwithstanding that Zeke's crime isn't a crime by Hunter's standards – it's more the point and purpose of the entire game line – Devon and the congregation naysay the idea of redemption for a human and kill him and his blameless partner, effectively in defence of monsters. Not only is that not sympathetic, it runs against the whole idea behind Hunter: the Vigil. So it's hardly a motivator to play someone like Devon either. We know (or rather presume; given Beast's general moral orientation, this might not be as obvious as it seems to me) that Zeke and Miriam are sympathetic, Devon and the congregation not, but the text gives no reason or incentive to play as either of them.

Does this story make you want to use the book's content?

Next time: Onan stops jerking off about the opening fiction and actually discusses some of the content of the book, loving hell

The Sin of Onan fucked around with this message at 10:32 on Feb 7, 2017

Mar 30, 2012
I saw an open development preview of the Reckoners (and other compacts in this book) a while back, and I don't really get it either. They're a weirdo heavily-armed-compound survivalist sect, they believe Beasts are God punishing humanity in the end times, and Heroes need to die because they're insulting God by opposing the just punishment.

Alright. So how do I use that in my Hunter game? Are they supposed to be antagonists? Are we playing as them for a particularly cynical one-shot? Who's going to be upset that a hunter group is killing Heroes?

Aug 23, 2009

Kellsterik posted:

Who's going to be upset that a hunter group is killing Heroes?

Anyone who's met a Beast.

Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20

Kellsterik posted:

Alright. So how do I use that in my Hunter game? Are they supposed to be antagonists? Are we playing as them for a particularly cynical one-shot? Who's going to be upset that a hunter group is killing Heroes?

Arguably? Other hunter compacts. They're basically starting internecine conflict for the sake of it.

Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Kurieg posted:

Arguably? Other hunter compacts. They're basically starting internecine conflict for the sake of it.

Other Hunters who don't realize they're hunting something that isn't human is always a good one.

The Sin of Onan
Oct 11, 2012

And below,
watched by eyes of steel
we dreamt

Kellsterik posted:

I saw an open development preview of the Reckoners (and other compacts in this book) a while back, and I don't really get it either. They're a weirdo heavily-armed-compound survivalist sect, they believe Beasts are God punishing humanity in the end times, and Heroes need to die because they're insulting God by opposing the just punishment.

Alright. So how do I use that in my Hunter game? Are they supposed to be antagonists? Are we playing as them for a particularly cynical one-shot? Who's going to be upset that a hunter group is killing Heroes?

They do explicitly kill other Hunters from time to time, in what the book calls "bystander deaths." But due to the general lack of an appreciable difference between a Hero and Hunter from an outsider's perspective, especially in terms of the results of their work, it rather seems like they should logically be going after all Hunters. How is a Hunter killing the Beasts of Revelation distinct from a Hero killing the Beasts of Revelation, in a way that makes the former "bystander deaths" and the latter legitimate targets? From the perspective of the end that they're after (i.e. dead Beasts), Heroes and Hunters are basically identical.

The Reckoners might be a shade more interesting if they were a Hunter Compact that explicitly hunts other Hunters. They wouldn't even be the first Hunter Compact/Conspiracy that's working to advance the agendas of certain types of monster. As it is, they're just incomprehensible.

Dec 12, 2016

I'm just mad that the 'The Reckoning' could have been a callback to 'Hunter: the Reckoning' but was not.

Hostile V
May 31, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

Sounds like they're designed to make a Long Night cell and a Mal Mal cell put aside eschatological differences to stomp all over a survivalist heresy cult.

Alternately for the VASCU game where you're trying to get into the compound of the Family of the Illuminated Dream (Reckoners) who you know are harboring a notorious serial killer and are friendly towards them and want to get the killer (Beast) out for arrest without starting another Waco.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 18, 2013

I think the worst thing about beast is that they're not the original person but a monster wearing the skin of someone who was killed by the Primodrial Dream. So even just stepping out of the gate by being born someone else has to die. Putting them on equal moral groups with the fetches from Changeling. I'm honestly surprised that more heroes aren't the parents of beast meat suits. Learning your child has been eaten by something that is now wearing their skin seems like the sort of thing that would make people snap.

Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Fallen Rib
I thought that too, but then we learned that apparently in Chronicles of Darkness, your soul doesn't really have anything to do with who you are as a person, it just supplies your willpower.

Dec 23, 2012

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Honestly, GitS is fairly subdued by modern manga standards. Shirow has some exploitative stuff like the infamous sex scene, but at the same time the grand majority of the comic is a straightforward tech-thriller (with tongue slightly in cheek) and Motoko's outfits are so, so much better in the comic. She knows that pants exist, and wears them on the regular. And not just hip-huggers, like. Slacks. It's kind of amazing how other designers (in the anime, other manga adaptations, etc.) have sexualized the character so much more than she was originally. It's definitely not a comic without issues but the anime's outfit always makes my eyebrow twitch.
Sounds like someone hasn't read Shirow's GitS 2: Man-Machine Interface. :v:

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

She figures out pants in the second season of SAC.

Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.
Ha ha the whole point of putting a monster in a Hunter book is so you can outline a group of hunters that hunt said monster, and they *still* manage to gently caress it up. Beast poisons everything it touches.

The Sin of Onan
Oct 11, 2012

And below,
watched by eyes of steel
we dreamt

Terrible Opinions posted:

I think the worst thing about beast is that they're not the original person but a monster wearing the skin of someone who was killed by the Primodrial Dream. So even just stepping out of the gate by being born someone else has to die. Putting them on equal moral groups with the fetches from Changeling. I'm honestly surprised that more heroes aren't the parents of beast meat suits. Learning your child has been eaten by something that is now wearing their skin seems like the sort of thing that would make people snap.

They do have creepy friendship powers that might help with that. "Hmm. This thing hollowed my daughter out from the inside of her mind, and now it's wearing her body like a grotesque puppet, but drat if it isn't cool and likeable. I'm gonna invite it to the family barbeque next week."

Simian_Prime posted:

Ha ha the whole point of putting a monster in a Hunter book is so you can outline a group of hunters that hunt said monster, and they *still* manage to gently caress it up. Beast poisons everything it touches.

I know, right? But did you consider that JocksHeroes are the real monsters here, maaaaaaaaaaaan? It makes a certain amount of sense if you accept that premise.

Please ignore the fact that you have no good reason to accept that premise.

Jan 29, 2009
So there's no twist in the church cult story that the head person is a beast?

Jun 6, 2011

The Lone Badger posted:

She figures out pants in the second season of SAC.

Season 1 Episode 19 actually. :goonsay:

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Siivola posted:

Sounds like someone hasn't read Shirow's GitS 2: Man-Machine Interface. :v:

I tried reading the first issue and mostly just remember a sensation of confusion and the rest is just blackout. I haven't tried to tackle it since, and prefer to pretend Appleseed Hypernotes was the last thing he did before just realizing he could draw tits for a living and didn't need to bother with pesky writing.

Nuns with Guns
Jul 23, 2010


Kurieg posted:

Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes - Heroes:Part 2

Are these the first non-white Heroes they've introduced at all between the core book and this supplement?


Aug 12, 2013

I know you think the Heroes are dumb but to be honest I've sort of loved every single example Hero we've gotten since the little old lady with the AK-47. Heroes are rad.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5