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    Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

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    Mister Awesome

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    Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:17 am

    Hey, since Mekton's pretty much dead, I figured I might run some good ol' World of Darkness. For those new to the game, I'll be making plenty of info available so you might want to play.

    1. What is the World of Darkness?

    World of Darkness is a line of tabletop RPGs by White Wolf, makers of Exalted, Aberrant, and other popular RPGs, but WoD is their most well-known line. World of Darkness casts players as people in a world where the supernatural exists, and is not exactly friendly. The scale is firmly set to "cynical". The most iconic games in the World of Darkness are those in which you play supernatural beings. Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, and Changeling are the primary titles with that theme. The universe was rebooted a few years back into the New World of Darkness (nWoD). See, the Old World of Darkness, in every one of its games, included an "apocalypse scenario" in which the world ended through some means related to the game (in Vampire: The Masquerade, for example, the very first vampires were going to wake up and kill everyone). Well, White Wolf decided that the best way to transition from one 'verse to the next was to have them all happen at once (the final adventure module they released for oWoD chronicles this superpocalypse).

    2. Okay, so, what games are there for the New World of Darkness?

    Well, as mentioned, being monsters is the name of the game, but here's the grand list, along with some general themes:

    -World of Darkness Core Rules (AKA "Mortal: The Redshirting"): I think the nickname explains the basics of that.

    -Vampire: The Requiem: You play a vampire, and you have to decide what you're willing to do to survive (since you need human blood to remain undead and all).

    -Werewolf: The Forsaken: You play a werewolf and have to keep humans and nature spirits from messing each other up, with lots of tribal stuff and proud warrior race guy themes going on, too.

    -Mage: The Awakening: You're a mage, and you have the power to alter reality with your mind. Do it too much or recklessly (i.e., in front of mortals), and it will backfire, harming you.

    -Changeling: The Lost: You were kidnapped by faerie creatures, the True Fey, as a child and then forced to serve them (like, really traumatic stuff, like being a gladiator, or being hunted and killed every day for ten years, or heck, some True Fey just like torturing people). Eventually, you became partially fey yourself, and managed one day to escape. So, now you're part goblin, or troll, or fairie, or whatever, and you live every day in fear that the True Fey will find and recapture you. For reference, most Changelings would rather die than go back, that's how bad it was.

    -Promethean: The Created: Remember the story of Frankenstein's Monster? It was true, along with several other "humanoid construct" stories. You're a creature like them, shunned by society and nature itself, as the land withers in your presence. Your goal is to become human. But seriously, all humans you meet hate you automatically, even the other WoD races aren't fans. Being a Promethean is very sad and poignant.

    -Geist: The Sin-Eaters: You died. Then a ghost that represents some abstract aspect or method of death appears to make a deal. You come back to life. True life. But they become bound to you. This lets you access nifty ghost powers, but your Geist has stuff it wants to do. You don't have to do that stuff, and sometimes it's good stuff, but still, it's like a voice in your head, so it can get irritating. Also you're sort of expected by other Sin-Eaters to resolve the lingering issues of ghosts so they can pass on to the afterlife, but you don't really have to. This is your second chance at life, you're free to do what you want.

    -Genius: The Transgression: You're insane. You think the universe works in some scientifically-impossible manner, or that you've discovered some great secret, like cola as a power source. You're wrong, though. Except, when you build a device using those principles, or write an equation, it works. At least, it works until a mortal looks at it. Or worse, a real scientist. You're a Mad Scientist, cursed with the power to create the impossible, but unable to share it with anyone besides those like you (or the various mosters of WoD). So, rather than despair, you've become your own community of Mad Scientists inventing whatever you feel like FOR SCIENCE! And then you test it. And then wacky hijinks ensue.

    -Hunter: The Vigil: See all those guys up on the rest of the list (except mortals)? You kill them. For the good of normal humans. You kill anything else vaguely supernatural, too. Obviously, Hunters are not playable in groups that included any of the other character types.


    Now, I will be devoting whole posts to describing each of the character types I'll be allowing in the game I'm going to run (Vampire, Werewolves, Changelings, Mages, Geniuses, Sin-Eaters, and Prometheans), but that list should give you a vague idea of which ones you might be interested in.
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:58 am

    World of Darkness Gameline #1: Vampire

    This is the first thing to spring to a tabletop player's mind when they hear talk of the World of Darkness. The vampires here are ripped straight from an Anne Rice novel. Good players can upgrade their characterization to more like Joss Whedon's vampires, while really bad players wind up as bad as Stephanie Meyer's. Basically, vampires in the World of Darkness are dangerous, predatory, and, yeah, sort of sexy. Rolling Eyes

    Here's some excerpt action from the book itself, about the powers and characteristics of vampires:

    Myths and Facts
    Where does Vampire’s mythology diverge from popular belief?
    Where do the conceits ring true? The following statements
    outline real-world legends of the undead, clarifying their truth
    or falsity in the World of Darkness.

    Vampires must sustain themselves on the blood of the
    living
    : Fact. For the Kindred, the act of feeding becomes highly
    sensual. The vessel feels ecstatic when it happens, and the
    feeding vampire undergoes a heady rush as well. Certain vampires
    sustain their undeath by drinking the blood of animals,
    but rarely for long, as either their tastes or the needs of their
    cursed bodies force them to seek human blood.

    Vampires are “immortal”: Myth and fact. Although
    vampires do not appear to age, and some survive for centuries,
    the Kindred use the word “undead” rather than “immortal.”
    Vampirism is a curse, not a blessing. It does carry
    with it great power, but the state of being a vampire also
    brings with it numerous detriments, not the least of which
    include the internalized rage of the Beast and feeding on
    human blood.

    A vampire’s prey becomes a vampire: Myth. You do not
    necessarily become a vampire if you’re bitten or killed by a
    vampire. It takes a conscious act of will, known as the Embrace,
    to create a new vampire. Indeed, a vampire leaves
    little to mark her passing if she is careful. All a vampire
    must do to hide the wound left by her feeding is to lick it
    when she’s done.

    Vampires have every manner of supernatural power,
    such as turning into animals, flying and wielding the
    strength of a dozen men
    : Fact. While these powers are not
    universal, vampires have unique abilities known as Disciplines,
    which can grant individual undead capabilities such
    as these and more.

    Vampires can have sex: Fact. While the act of feeding
    replaces all physical urges, vampires can still indulge in sex
    and even take pleasure from it. Curiously, however, the
    emotional aspect of sex vanishes after the Embrace. A vampire
    might enjoy the physical sensation of sex, but no more
    than she enjoys a particularly savory smell or the touch of
    a luxurious fabric.

    A wooden stake destroys vampires: Myth. Vampires aren’t
    destroyed upon being staked, they’re held in stasis. A vampire’s
    body slowly withers and turns inward while trapped in this
    state, desiccating and becoming ever more corpselike.
    Vampires don’t show up like normal people on camera
    or in mirrors: Fact. Vampires show up with their features
    obscured in photographic media (including video footage)
    and in mirrors. They can temporarily counteract this effect,
    but the “default” is a sort of occlusion. The same is
    not true for voice recordings; vampires’ voices are captured
    normally on those.

    Sunlight burns vampires: Fact. As part of their curse,
    vampires recoil at the touch of the sun, its vital rays scorching
    their undead flesh. Vampires typically spend the daylight
    hours in the cold sleep of undeath, and only the most
    resolute can shake off the weight of the day’s forced slumber
    for even a short time.

    Garlic and running water repels vampires: Myth. Such
    notions are nothing more than old wives’ tales, cultural biases
    or perhaps the banes of certain bloodlines of Kindred.

    Vampires are repulsed by crosses and other holy symbols:
    Myth — almost. While such is not generally the case,
    the devout sometimes do affect the Kindred with miraculous
    aspects of their faith.

    Vampires’ souls are as dead as their bodies after they become
    undead
    : Myth and fact. While a vampire might believe
    that he feels an emotion, what he actually feels is the echo of
    mortal emotions that the remnants of his soul apply to his
    current experience. That is, a vampire who feels angry might
    indeed be angry at the subject of his ire, but the resonance of
    the emotion actually comes from some situation the vampire
    dealt with in life. This condition results in many strange situations.
    A vampire who has never experienced a given emotion
    before becoming Kindred might be emotionally confused,
    while a vampiric artist might create a work of “art” that is
    awkwardly devoid of any true emotional insight.



    Mainly, as a Vampire, you have to make some pretty extreme moral choices. Like, will you kill someone to get the blood you need, or only take a little bit from several people? Will you try to subsist solely on animals, will you steal from a blood bank or drain only the homeless or the wicked? You're always at risk of going into a Frenzy in a moment of stress, killing and feeding on anyone nearby, so will you isolate yourself, or just try to control the Beast as best you can? Or will you indulge it, giving in to your every impulse? You're deathless, eternity is your playground.

    There are five clans of Vampires, each with its own special abilities and looks:

    -Daeva: They're very pretty. These are the vampires most like those in The Vampire Diaries. They seduce people and stuff.

    -Gangrel: These guys are the real monsters of the bunch, consummate predators. Ever see Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Imagine those vampires.

    -Mekhet: These guys are super-stealthy. That's their thing.

    -Nosferatu: You know how the vampire in that old silent movie with the same name was really ugly and freaky? Well, so are these guys. They're also very powerful.

    -Ventrue: These are the classiest of the bunch, really regal ruling class-types.

    Aside from the five clans, which you must be one of, there are five Covenants, that provide optional bonuses, with some minor rules to follow. From the book:

    The Carthians seek to reconcile Kindred society
    with modern governmental structures and social
    systems. In any number of cities across the world,
    the Carthian experiment is in some stage of its
    inexorable cycle, running from naïve idealism to
    “the revolution eats its children.”

    The Circle of the Crone venerates a variety of
    female figures as an amalgamated creator of
    vampires, the Mother of all Monsters. Regarded
    as pagans by some of the more conservative
    Kindred factions, the Circle relies more on holistics
    and redemption than on the penitence and guilt
    of other ideological covenants. Its members are
    sorcerers and blood witches.

    The Invictus is the aristocracy of the night.
    Neofeudal and corrupt from within, it is
    nonetheless a powerful covenant that draws
    strength from tradition. The Invictus claims to
    trace its roots back as far as ancient Rome, if
    not before.

    The Lancea Sanctum looks to Biblical history
    for its spiritual outlook. The covenant seeks to
    influence Kindred society with the strictures of
    Longinus, who was believed to be a progenitor
    turned into one of the Damned by the blood of
    Christ. The covenant practices a magic that draws
    on elements from Biblical times, when God’s will
    was manifest.

    The Ordo Dracul is a neo-Victorian faction not
    unlike a secret society. It commands mystical
    knowledge and rituals that allow members to
    transcend their vampiric state. The covenant
    claims descent from the historical Vlad Tepes —
    Dracula himself.

    Kindred who belong to no covenant at all are
    known by many names, but among the most
    universal are “the unaligned” or “the unbound.”
    They have no formal structure, and many just want
    to handle the Requiem on their own terms, rather
    than those of covenants or other institutions.


    EDIT: Oh, right, there's also "Bloodlines" that you can be a part of, which will give you an extra power, but also an additional weakness (on top of each clan's default weakness).


    Last edited by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:16 am

    Werewolves are pretty uncomplicated, compared to Vampires. They can also have random monster freakouts in times of stress, but generally keep to themselves, living in packs with various tribal rules. Their origin is they thought they were humans until one day when they just happened to become a werewolf for the first time. They can transform between human form and wolf form, with 3 hybrid forms. They have totems and spirit animals and stuff, too. They tend to deal with the spirit world, keeping restless nature spirits from doing anything too crazy. They're weak to all forms of silver. Here's a quick reference for the basic type/organization dynamic:

    AUSPICE
    Choose an auspice under which your character
    experiences the First Change. There are five auspices from
    which to select.
    Rahu (Full Moon): determined, aggressive, warlike
    Cahalith (Gibbous Moon): passionate, thoughtful, expressive
    Elodoth (Half Moon): discerning, observant, even-tempered
    Ithaeur (Crescent Moon): contemplative, foresightful, spiritual
    Irraka (New Moon): inquisitive, contrary, resourceful

    TRIBE
    Choose a tribe to which your character belongs.
    There are five tribes from which to select. To forsake all
    tribes is to be a Ghost Wolf.
    Blood Talons: warriors, defenders, champions
    Bone Shadows: shaman, wise men and women, seers
    Hunters in Darkness: stalkers, assassins, guardians
    Iron Masters: innovators, progressives, improvisers
    Storm Lords: commanders, aristocracy, alphas
    Ghost Wolves: loners, outcasts, independents
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:28 am

    Mages are also pretty simple. They do magic, which might backfire. They have conspiracies and evil mages and stuff to deal with, pretty standard stories. Here's their stuff:

    Path
    Choose a Path, representing the Supernal
    Realm from which the character draws his
    magic. This also determines the character’s
    ruling Arcana.


    Acanthus: The Path of Thistle, Watchtower of
    the Lunargent Thorn, the Realm of Arcadia,
    Kingdom of Enchantment, abode of the Fae,
    ruled by the Arcana of Fate and Time. Enchanters
    epitomize the tarot trump of “The Fool,”
    relying on luck and intuition to guide their way.

    Mastigos: The Path of Scourging, Watchtower
    of the Iron Gauntlet, the Realm of Pandemonium,
    Kingdom of Nightmares, abode of demons,
    ruled by the Arcana of Mind and Space.
    Warlocks epitomize the tarot trump of “The
    Devil,” exulting in unfettered will.

    Moros: The Path of Doom, Watchtower of the
    Lead Coin, the Realm of Stygia, Kingdom of
    Crypts, abode of shades, ruled by the Arcana of
    Death and Matter. Necromancers epitomize the
    tarot trump of “Death,” remaining steadfast
    during change.

    Obrimos: The Path of the Mighty, Watchtower
    of the Golden Key, the Realm of Aether, Kingdom
    of the Celestial Spheres, abode of angels, ruled
    by the Arcana of Forces and Prime. Theurgists
    epitomize the tarot trump of “Strength,” pursuing
    a divine mandate.

    Thyrsus: The Path of Ecstasy, Watchtower of
    the Stone Book, the Realm of the Primal Wild,
    Kingdom of Totems, abode of beasts, ruled by
    the Arcana of Life and Spirit. Shamans epitomize
    the tarot trump of “The Moon,” following the
    allure of passion and impulsive action.

    Order
    Choose an order, a mystical society of which
    your character is a member. If you don’t want
    him to join an order, write “Apostate” on your
    character sheet. Orders teach their members to
    cast rotes more efficiently when using certain
    Rote Specialties (to be explained later).


    The Adamantine Arrow defends sanctums and
    cabals with its combat magic. Rote Specialties:
    Athletics, Intimidation, Medicine

    The Free Council seeks to escape the strictures
    of the past and modernize the craft of magic.
    Rote Specialties: Crafts, Persuasion, Science

    The Guardians of the Veil protects the Mysteries
    from any who would despoil them or dare
    reveal them to the unenlightened. Rote Specialties:
    Investigation, Stealth, Subterfuge

    The Mysterium searches for valuable lore
    hidden throughout the material and invisible
    worlds. Rote Specialties: Investigation,
    Occult, Survival

    The Silver Ladder desires to establish a proper
    hierarchy of the Awakened — with its members
    at the top. Rote Specialties: Expression,
    Persuasion, Subterfuge


    On top of all that, there are a number of "legacies" that will further increase and expand your abilities, with various background and what have you.

    EDIT: Almost forgot, I also have a sourcebook that includes summoning magic, so you can summon stuff as well as do direct magic.


    Last edited by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:54 am

    Changelings are defined by their fear of the True Fey, they do whatever they can to avoid and elude them. Aside from that, they just do the usual World of Darkness-type stuff, usually handling matters involving lesser fey creatures. They're weak to cold iron and use Contracts based upon their fey nature to channel power. There are a LOT of different subtypes of Changeling, but here's the basics:

    Seemings (you select a Seeming, and may then select a Kith to further define what you are):

    Beast: The animal-blooded who hunt in the
    tangled forests of Faerie, swim in its waters, soar in its
    skies or pace in its kennels. Affinity Contract: Fang and
    Talon. Kiths: Broadback, Hunterheart, Runnerswift,
    Skitterskulk, Steepscrambler, Swimmerskin, Venombite,
    Windwing.

    Darkling: The nocturnals, the fae that lurk in the
    shadows and call from lightless grottoes and hidden
    glens. Affinity Contract: Darkness. Kiths: Antiquarian,
    Gravewight, Leechfinger, Mirrorskin, Tunnelgrub.

    Elemental: Children of the earth, air and sky of
    Faerie; those born of the raw elements of nature itself.
    Affinity Contract: Elements. Kiths: Airtouched, Earthbones,
    Fireheart, Manikin, Snowskin, Waterborn,
    Woodblood.

    Fairest: The most beautiful of Arcadia, if not always
    the kindest; the elegant and adored, the graceful
    and manipulative. Affinity Contract: Vainglory. Kiths:
    Bright One, Dancer, Draconic, Flowering, Muse.

    Ogre: The strong and often brutal goblins and giants
    of Faerie, broad-backed and bloody-handed. Affinity
    Contract: Stone. Kiths: Cyclopean, Farwalker, Gargantuan,
    Gristlegrinder, Stonebones, Water-Dweller.

    The Wizened: The subtle and ingenious crafters of
    Arcadia, the wise and cunning wondermakers. Affinity
    Contract: Artifice. Kiths: Artist, Brewer, Chatelaine,
    Chirurgeon, Oracle, Soldier, Smith, Woodwalker.

    NOTE: There are actually quite a few additional Kiths for every Seeming, found in one of the sourcebooks.

    Court: This is what faerie court you have an affinity for. There are twelve available, each with its own theme. The basic set is the Seasonal courts of Summer, Spring, Autumn, and Winter. There's also the Directional courts of North, South, East, and West and the Temporal Courts of Day, Night, Dawn, and Dusk. Further, you are not required to be part of a Court (but it's a disadvantage).

    On top of all that, if you meet certain requirements, you can have Entitlements, that give you more bonuses.
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:21 am

    Prometheans are pretty much hated by everything by no fault of their own, and actually I'd have to houserule pretty hard for them to fit in a mixed WoD game without trouble, so unless someone really really wants to play one, I'm gonna save myself some time and skip them.
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:38 am

    Sin-Eaters and their Geists are lucky, because their gameline is the most lighthearted of the official Word of Darkness products. They're all about second chances and what one does with them.

    The first thing to pick is a Threshold, your circumstances of death. Most deaths have elements that overlap with several of these "Thresholds", which one applies is, apparently, dependent upon which one the future Sin-Eater focuses on (note that the personality profiles are only generalizations):

    Death by Violence (murder, arson)/The Torn: Tend to be either angry or peaceful in response to their death, either embracing violence or shunning it.

    Death by Deprivation (starvation, suffocation, heartbreak)/The Silent: Tend to blend in and go unnoticed.

    Death by Plague (disease/poison)/The Stricken: Usually become enamored with solving problems and curing disease and otherwise fixing all the world's ills.

    Death by Nature (eaten by wolves, froze to death)/The Prey: Often become rather accepting of whatever life throws at them, as it's all "part of nature's plan" or something to that effect.

    Death by Chance (industrial accidents, struck by lightning)/The Forgotten: They go with the flow and take chances, seeing life as one big gamble now.


    The other big decision is your Archetype, what your character decides he should do with his new life and powers (note that while this defines a fair amount of your character's personality, the way in which they go about fulfilling their archetype is what really defines it):

    • Reaper — Judges and Executioners, choosing who lives and who dies.
    • Celebrant — Those who have seen death and embrace life to its fullest.
    • Gatekeeper — Protectors of the paths between life and death.
    • Mourner — Devotees/addicts to the passions of the bereaved or of the dead.
    • Bonepicker — Scavengers that use their otherworldly powers to make this world more comfortable.
    • Advocate — Dedicated to finishing the unfinished business of the dead.
    • Necromancer — Seekers of knowledge of the dead and the occult lore of death.
    • Pilgrim — Those that try to purify themselves and others, so that they might move on.
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:31 am

    Okay, here comes the wacky one. Genius is a fanmade WoD game, available for free download here. You can actually make about 90% of your character using it (although you'll need the base WoD rules for the remainder). Now, for those unwilling or unable to get that, here's the basic choices (oh, and remember, the defining trait of Geniuses is they can build impossible items, like freeze rays, hovercraft, giant robots, jetpacks, androids, various biological horrors, etc.):

    Your Catalyst is the emotion that defined the moment you became one of the Inspired, a Genius. It determines some basic starting things, including what Derangement you start with (Derangements can occur on any WoD character, but every Genius starts out with a mild one, something that makes them act weird when stressed out) and the type of inventions you favor to begin with.

    Grimms: You were catalyzed by anger. Something just really ticked these guys off one day. Favor making weapons. Quote from PDF: "I am nanometers from perfection and no longer answer to any mortal authority. They weren't there for me and I won't waste time helping them as I rise asymptotically toward the ultimate virtue. Every corpse I leave should be one less investigation to make, instead of one more open case. But I'm not here for human justice any more. When you see the Paolenti penthouse burn with white fire and the dreams of serpents, you'll know that, and so will every other man-mask-wearing machine-demon in this city. They'll never love me for the things I've done, but I never asked for love. Only for perfection."

    Hoffnung: Catalyzed by "vision" (more like megalomania). They know what the world could be, and try to improve it (often by trying to take over). Tend to favor inventions that work transformations on stuff. Quote from PDF: "You've seen it on the billboards and the trash-strewn alleys, amidst the halls of the powerful and in the tenements of the desperate: the Change. It's coming, and soon everything will be different. Our world will transform itself―in fire, if necessary, in blood, certainly―and be reborn, fresh and new, to gaze out on the universe with innocent and wondering eyes. And I am the herald of that Change. So forgive me if I cannot hear your words or your screams. They are too small. Do you hear the mayflies screaming tonight? Neither do I."

    Klagen: Catalyzed by loss. They're very pessimistic, but fairly rational. Favor inventions that heal and buff. Quote: "When I was in high school my teacher told me that there are more people alive today than have ever lived. Don't worry: she lied, then got cancer. (Not my fault.) We live atop a mountain of corpses. The Earth is swimming in humans, above and below the ground, so when I see you trying to raise the dead, I'm torn. On the one hand, I recognize your despair. On the other hand, do you really want to spend the rest of the week fending off a zombie apocalypse as the Earth vomits up her dead? AGAIN? Come on, man, think this through: every time you try this, we end up fighting zombies. I hate zombies. Just put the syringe down."

    Neid: Catalyzed by being ostracized and shamed, often by being laughed at and/or called mad. Tend to be paranoid and reclusive. Favor inventions of control. Quote: "First let me tell you that human beings without mathematical souls are transparent to God and thus mean nothing to Him. So you ask, why does God (who is the Equation) care about window-souls? He doesn't, but the Devil, whom I define as our negative thoughts, does, and directs window-soul humans at us to destroy us. These humans think they think and feel, but they are without the highest Number and their feelings are only our self-doubt. Destroy your self-doubt, be free of their hatred. Or destroy them, and be free of your self-doubt. Vengeance is time- and space-symmetrical, like any good equation." (GM's Note: Yeah, pretty sure that's a reference to Timecube.com)

    Staunen: Catalyzed by wonder and curiosity. You saw something breathtaking and it all just clicked. Very hopeful and enthusiastic about their work. Their work may or may not be horrific. Aperture Science appears to have been full of these guys. They favor inventions that let you look at and listen to stuff, like an infinite-range telescope. Quote: "I'm afraid I don't see things like you do. I mean it: I'm afraid. What if the things I find beautiful drive you mad? What if they hollow you out like clever little squirrels getting nuts for the winter, except the nuts are your eyes, and winter is, I don't know, maybe the Rapture or something? And I'm just smiling while your face gets ripped apart because I think it's beautiful? These things worry me sometimes, when I'm not not looking at the night sky. So I spend a lot of time looking at the night sky, and not looking at your face and thinking about squirrels."


    The other choice is your Foundation (it's optional, but recommended, although there is a small cost to it). This is where you were taught how to use your powers properly, and gives you various benefits, as each specializes in its own field of mad science.

    The International Union of Artifice (Artificers): Mad Engineers, they build Wonders extra-fast.Quote: "Good, fast, and cheap: you get all three. And if you talk like that to my people again, you're going to wake up as a collection of spare parts."

    The Fellowship for Manifest Direction (Directors): These guys are schemers who want to control everything, their Mad Psychology program is second to none. They can use their powers to increase their Social skills. Quote: "Like even the strongest iron bar, every man has a weak point, and it can be found."

    The Center for Circumferential Navigation (Navigators): They're the best at going out there and using Wonders, and can use their powers to boost their physical attributes. Known for Mad Physics (which is like Quantum Physics, except it makes more sense, BA-ZING!). Quote: "I've seen things you wouldn't believe. Hell, I've seen things I don't believe."

    The Reformed Society of Progenitors (Progenitors): Obsessed with the creation of new life and modification of existing life, their Mad Biology is top-notch. Good with cybernetics, too. They have reduced penalties when making very small Wonders (many of which might be meant to be installed within someone's body), and they get a bonus when altering their Wonders. Quote: "It'll work this time, I promise. It won't hurt anyone."

    The College of Scholastic Theory (Scholastics): These guys know more than anyone about Geniuses themselves, and the history of the Peerage. They seek more and more knowledge about just about everything, and practice Mad Philosophy. All Wonders have Faults (some minor issue that screws up normal operation from time to time), the GM rolls up an extra Fault when Scholastics make Wonders, and the Scholastic chooses which Fault applies. Additionally, they immediately know the Faults of their Wonder just by handling it for a moment (most have to find out the hard way). Quote: "If it's true, someone wrote it down, even if just to refute it."



    On top of Foundations, if you fulfill special requirements, you can join a Fellowship, which has additional bonuses and further refines the style of your inventions.
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Hilarity on Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:32 am

    Alright, here's my info.

    Race: Mage

    Path: Acanthus

    Order: Free Council
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by 8-Bit Wren on Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:43 am

    ...Well, let's see what I've got to work with here...

    Race: Changeling.

    Seeming: Not sure. Possibly a Darkling.

    Court: Likely Dusk.

    As for a character...hm. The character I have in mind managed to escape from his circumstances by mere chance. His life before managing to flee from his hellish situation was a painful one. As a mere child, he was expected to fight and kill when attempts at trying to work at labor failed.

    The killings quickly began to leave mental scars as he was forced to watch his foe die in agony and while they were brought back...it still horrified him as fight after fight and instilled with fear to survive made him simply be consumed by it, thinking he could be snuffed out at any moment.

    ...And considering his treatment...he was also made somewhat cynical, but barely able to trust, let alone speak a proper conversation without always trembling in fear.


    ...How's that for a start...?
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:03 pm

    Here is the ENTIRE rundown of Acanthus, because I can. Every mage is associated with one of five "Watchtowers", which are pillars that serve to bulwark reality from the dark forces outside of it that try to get in. Mages also have Nimbuses, which are marks of their magic when they cast most spells. The Nimbus of a Mage is unique, though each Path tends towards similar characteristics (it's like a magical fingerprint, so be sure to describe yours when you first cause it to appear, Hil). Mages also have strong arcana and weak arcana based on their Path. You may learn up to five dots in your Ruling Arcana, and it costs the least XP. You must receive instruction from a Mage of a different path to go beyond two dots in the Inferior Arcanum, and it costs more XP. For all others, you can learn four dots on your own, the fifth must be taught by a fellow, and the experience cost is in the middle. Additionally, the materials that should make up your Magical Tools change. Acanthus does best with items of glass, crystal, plastic, or silver. The exception is weapons, where they are instead restricted to certain weapon types, in the case of Acanthus, the knife, rapier, and bow are favored. Also, you get a bonus dot in either Resolve or Composure based on Path, Acanthus goes for Composure.

    ACANTHUS
    Enchanters on the Path of Thistle,
    Scions of the Watchtower of the Lunargent Thorn in the Realm of Arcadia, Kingdom of Enchantment and Abode of the Fae

    The mages of the Lunargent Thorn have a reputation as the most capricious of the Awakened. To their friends, that makes them “free spirits,” or “a breath of fresh air.” Their detractors are more likely to apply terms such as “unstable,” “immature” or “childish.” Many mages see something fey or otherworldly about the Acanthus, and the Enchanters themselves are hardly in any position to deny it. Maturity and stability are not the strengths of those on the Path of Thistle. They are visionaries with extraordinary insights into events both past and future, but they may not always make as much of their insights as they could — much to the chagrin of other mages. Their peers accuse them of being flaky or even irrational, but those allegations seem not to phase the Acanthus in the least. Many reasons have been put forth for their odd behavior. Some have suggested that those on the Enchanter’s Path are so inundated with the endless branches of the time stream that nothing seems impossible and no decision seems irreversible. In their defense, the Path of Thistle truly does promise much more than a mage can handle until she grows into her magic. Because so much of her magic takes the form of uncanny good fortune, it’s possible for a mage on the Path of Thistle to imagine herself merely extraordinarily lucky, and many show a tendency toward superstition even in their magic. For this reason, many believe that Acanthus epitomize the tarot trump of “The Fool,” relying on dumb luck to guide their journeys. Their sense of wonder and endless possibility often inspires hope in others, for to an Acanthus, the odds are never unbeatable and there are always second chances. Acanthus are drawn to crowds, but they seem destined to be stuck on the edges of any crowd they hang with, always “the new guy” no matter how long they’ve been with a group. Their charming ways often make great first impressions, but charm goes only so far, especially once the going gets rough and the Acanthus expects others to pick up his slack.

    Orders: Some orders are cautious about taking on Acanthus, feeling that they’re too mercurial and unfocused to be proper members. Given the tendency of Enchanters to feel they can get out of anything at any point they so choose, many orders are concerned with their level of commitment. That said, when they do join orders, those on the Path of Thistle show a slight preference for the Free Council, where their nimble minds are free to innovate as they see fit, and for the Mysterium, where they are free to test their wits against ancient lore. Enchanters have a love/hate relationship with the Silver Ladder. While they are lukewarm about the order’s goals, they are fascinated by the power and resolve it fosters. The Adamantine Arrow recruits Acanthus for the sheer strategic value they bring to the order, but war is not a popular pursuit with Enchanters. The Guardians of the Veil also try to bring in more Acanthus, because their luck and insight is invaluable in the defense of the Mysteries, but many Acanthus find the work of the order to be dull.

    Appearance: Mages on the Acanthus Path often have attractive features, though their eyes often take on a crafty, vulpine quality over time that others may interpret as shifty or somehow dishonest. They often appear younger than they are, an impression reinforced by the nigh-omnipresent glimmer in their eyes.

    Sanctums: Whether or not they seek out their own kind, Acanthus are extraordinarily social creatures. They often “hide in plain sight,” setting up their sanctums in places that are near to community focal points of one sort or another: opera houses, theaters, bars, nightclubs or temples. More often than not, sheer dumb luck keeps others from finding such places, or at least realizing what they are.

    Background: The Acanthus Path most commonly opens up to those who are young and inexperienced or to those who cast off a former life in favor of a new beginning or strange horizons. It favors those who rely on illusion, glamour, luck or benign trickery to make their way, and to those who are completely lost in the world due to temperament or circumstance. Students, orphans, gamblers, stage magicians, artists, con artists, models, actors, musicians, schizophrenics, “escorts” and vagrants are all susceptible to Arcadia’s touch.

    Character Creation: Generally charming and quite astute, Acanthus often come from backgrounds in which they survived by their wits, good looks or mental agility. Consequently, they frequently emphasize Social and Mental Attributes, though not necessarily in that order. Physical Attributes are often tertiary, though the most developed of these is usually Dexterity. Social Skills are almost always emphasized, and many Acanthus seem to have a fair understanding of the techniques of Larceny. Hope is the ideal Virtue of Enchanters, for even those who don’t aspire to it as their guiding principle tend to respect those who do. Sloth, on the other hand, is the Vice elders warn younger mages about, but many still seem to succumb to it. The Danger Sense Merit (World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 108) is especially appropriate for mages on the Thistle Path, and any of the Social Merits are also good picks.

    Favored Resistance Attribute: Composure

    Ruling Arcana: Time/Fate

    Inferior Arcanum: Forces

    Nimbus: “Fey.” Things seem enchanted or pregnant with the possibility of magic. In some cases, a greenish glow might highlight metals or reflective surfaces, and eerie, strange singing can be heard from afar. With powerful magic, fogs and mists might rise to cloak the ground. Time condenses into the present moment; concerns about the past or future seem less pressing, less real. Everyone’s heart seems to beat in synch, although the silence between beats hints of eternity. Things sometimes seem to move in slow motion, with sublime grace and beauty.

    Associations: “Amiable anarchy” is about as good a description of Acanthus organizational principles as you’re likely to get. They don’t view others in terms of powerful or weak, superior or inferior or even good or evil, but rather as charming or tedious. Those who “get” them (i.e., those who can tolerate their caprice and maybe even go along with it to an extent) they get along with famously. Those who can’t they would rather avoid if at all possible. Just as they dislike others telling them what to do, Acanthi would never presume to tell another mage what to do, and so most interactions between Acanthus are pleasant if somewhat shallow and transient. On occasions where such mages are obligated to work together, their interactions are often surprisingly awkward and uncomfortable.

    Legacies: Walker in Mists, Skald, Tamer of Winds (lots more than that in other sourcebooks if you don't like these three)
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:31 pm

    Now, onto the Order. Orders provide easier access to Rote spells. Spells can be cast by rote or improvised. Rote spells cause less of the usual side-effects to spellcasting, but you need to learn them by spending XP (and usually owing the teacher a favor). You can cast any spell improvised, though. Each Order grants a +1 bonus to casting Rotes that use certain skills. Now, onto the Order at hand. The Free Council boosts Rotes that use Craft, Persuasion, and Science.

    THE FREE COUNCIL

    Can you feel it? Magic still exists, like a stunted tree twisted under the weight of the Abyss. Nations call fire from the sky when it’s time for war. Voices drift on invisible waves from New York to Jakarta, from Mogadishu to Moscow. The world is full of sigils and runes. Men and woman will die for a flag or work themselves ragged for a brand. This is an age of power and opportunity. And the Awakened can see Supernal shadows overlaying it all… if they look at it the right way. But it’s an age of horror, too, because power doesn’t have an ethos. The tools of power are there for the taking, but the management is bad. Very bad indeed. The Free Council means to change that. This age, this time of glorious chaos, needs to be translated into Awakened wisdom. In a new kind of alchemy, the Council will change the trappings of the Sleepers’ Quiescence into its undoing. Atlantis is a worthy dream, but to the Free Council, other mages make the mistake of casting their lot with the past, ensuring that they will always be lesser than their ancestors. The order sees the Awakened City as a spiritual ideal, but doesn’t believe that its old rites are the best way to renew Awakened power. It holds that virtually any method, as long as it captures some genuine meaning, can be used to invoke the Supernal Realms. Humanity found the essential spark of Awakening in prehistory, and never forgot. The Quiescence can only subdue it; human beings recreate the signs of wisdom all around them. Even this Fallen World contains countless treasures for the Awakened seeker. Arcane power is not wisdom. The Free Council discovered that truth when it questioned the Atlantean orthodoxy. For all their power, even great masters were blind to the new truths of the quickening age. It was time to drop the old hierarchies and seek the truth through democracy and consensus. Levels of initiation and secrets barred from the so-called unworthy were all the worse because they replicated the values of the Exarchs and their Seers of the Throne. The Free Council insists that humanity was never meant to abase itself for the sake of occult training. Magic exists now, and it’s moving forward as swiftly as a thought. Cling to tradition, and you’ll get left behind.

    Overview
    Awakened society has always had its share of rebels and strange geniuses, mages who could never accept the easy answers of Atlantean tradition. The Silver Ladder cast them out, the Adamantine Arrow refused to protect them and the Mysterium expunged their words from history. But the Awakened have always been sensitive to the spirit of an age, and there have been times when the trickle of malcontent has grown to a flood. These eras have coincided with some of the greatest achievements in human history, but also with its wars and disasters. Do mages cause such events, or take their lessons to heart? So many layers of conspiracy exist between mages and Sleeping humanity that it’s nigh impossible to tell who bears the burden of history, but during these pivotal periods, arcane knowledge increases. In the early 19th century, cabals across Europe expounded a startling theory: that upheaval led to genuinely new occult praxes, not mere shadows of Atlantis. Men and women were not as weak as the Exarchs supposed, and strained against their prison across the generations. The new movement gave itself hundreds of different names based on everything from Sleeper inspirations to esoteric humor. Conflict was inevitable. It spanned the globe through the charms of the Boxer Rebellion, the guns of the American West and the bombs of London anarchists. Mysterium historians call it the Nameless War, for at the time, the other orders refused to even give the revolutionaries a common name. After all, names grant symbolic power. The heirs of Atlantis, for all their internal strife, wanted to see history bury these apostates. The war left the rebels bloody but unbowed, and even increased their membership. Young members of the traditional orders defected, charmed by the opportunities offered by rebel factions. Even so, the Nameless rebels couldn’t prove their worth to the ancient orders until they took a stand for something, instead of against tradition. The Great Refusal fulfilled this requirement. The Seers of the Throne knew that the rebels presented a great opportunity. Nameless mages embraced the Sleeping world’s technologies and fashions. They could be used to wipe out all memory of Atlantis. Together, the Seers and the Nameless could create a world where humanity could not even conceive of the occult, mending the final few flaws that remained in the world-prison the Exarchs had created. The Seers of the Throne sent emissaries to Nameless cabals, offering them wealth and power in exchange for an alliance that would wed technological and cultural magic to an agenda of control. The Nameless order declined. They declined with guns, bombs and mind-crushing Arts. On New Year’s Eve in 1899, the Great Refusal of alliance concluded with the official formation of the Free Council, members of which had finally discovered a common enemy. The spirit of the modern world would be liberty, not technocracy, and it was time to explore it.

    Members
    The elder orders would have you think that the Free Council consists of poorly trained punks and political blowhards who endanger everyone around them with poorly wrought spells, and who defile the Supernal World with every ill-considered touch. Sometimes, that’s true. For their part, novice mages might speak up for the Free Council out of sheer contrariness, but might also seek to escape the burden of apprenticeship. Many mages treat their pupils as slaves and cannon fodder in battles for ancient lore. A few masters even cripple their apprentice’s development because they’re afraid of being surpassed. Resentment builds and apprentices leave. The Free Council offers an environment in which young mages’ ideas are debated freely, but novices who expect total license to act as they see fit are in for a surprise. The Free Council takes democracy seriously, but doesn’t take to every notion — and there are many — that is flung on the table. Like mages everywhere, libertines lead dangerous lives fighting rivals and searching for magical power. They believe in security and mutual aid. Empty rebellion doesn’t help either. After running the gauntlet of debate and the sporadic violence of Council missions, survivors are tempered into idealistic but practical occultists who have a flexible set of capabilities. Libertines tend to be generalists outside of their arcane specialties. Their intense interest in culture and technology, and their iconoclasm, makes the ideal member a combination of engineer, anthropologist and guerilla. Young mages aren’t the only ones who join the Free Council, however. Veteran sorcerers align themselves with the order to either reject their former, corrupt allegiances or to explore radical occult theories. Experienced defectors add political clout and arcane power to the cause. Libertines all have a common interest in contemporary culture and tend to be skeptical of Atlantean heritage. Some of them doubt that Atlantis ever even existed. In any event, they believe that it’s useless to limit themselves to tradition. If Atlantis existed in any age, it should be the future and should be a better place than any legend describes. Of course, Free Council members rarely agree on the best model for an Awakened — or mundane — society. Their sanctums ring with the competing voices of anarchists, free-market capitalists and partisans of countless other doctrines

    Philosophy
    Volumes have been written (and duels fought) about what libertines ought to believe. Despite this, members hold little in common aside from the charter of unity forged at the dawn of the 20th century.
    Democracy seeks the truth; hierarchy fosters the Lie.
    The Quiescence does more than blind Sleepers to the great truths of existence. It creates a way of thinking that causes them to lie to each other by diluting power through society’s ranks, creating hierarchies to control the spread of knowledge. This is a radical enough claim by itself, but the Free Council goes a step further and postulates that even mages are cursed to trap their lore in hierarchies of mutual deception. Every generation loses a bit of lore that was concealed in the highest levels of initiation and never passed on. Subsequently, the secrets of Atlantis (if it isn’t a lie) have been filtered through so many masters and apprentices that they’re nearly useless. Only shared discovery and free debate can throw off the Lie.
    Humanity is magical; human works have arcane secrets.
    The Free Council believes that humanity never really forgot the secrets of magic. Human beings instinctively create their own miracles. These are only shadows of the potential they could attain if they Awakened, but they point to new ways to understand magic. Technology and culture have their own secret laws and symbols, drawn from Supernal regions still waiting to be discovered. Libertines embrace a modern vision of magic drawn from human accomplishments, not hoary myths. This doesn’t mean that magic comes only from modern technology and mass media, though. Many libertines believe that preindustrial and developing societies have been making their own discoveries throughout Sleeping history and that it’s a mistake to cleave too closely to modern Western values. Of course, other Council cabals believe the opposite: that the Enlightenment and its heirs are the only streams of human history worth paying attention to. What both groups have in common is that they see these developments as new and vital in their own right instead of being scrambled memories of Atlantean glory.
    Destroy the followers of the Lie.
    This is one of the most contentious points of agreement among Free Council cabals. While all agree that the Seers of the Throne are the most extreme proponents of the Lie, they do not have any consensus on how to reform Awakened society away from its authoritarian traditions. The most radical cells espouse revolutionary war against the Silver Ladder and their collaborators, but others believe that a peaceful campaign of cooperation and Consilium-level reform will gradually persuade mages to abandon their outmoded hierarchies.

    Rituals and Observances
    The Free Council has existed for little over a century, so members know that the order’s traditions were invented, not revealed. The spirit of invention and adaptation persists, so Free Council cabals regularly invent rituals and conventions that suit their own interests.

    Assembly
    Free Council cabals are run democratically, either by absolute consensus or majority vote. In addition, cabals often form regional Assemblies as an alternative to the local Consilium. Individual groups send syndics (see below) to the Assembly, who in turn formulate proposals to be voted on by every mage represented. Some Assemblies require members to forswear association with a Consilium, but most do not. Even so, the collective power of a well-run Assembly can decisively sway a Consilium, since all members share a commitment to a particular policy. A variation known as the Column organizes mages in battles against their enemies. While any democratically governed cabal is allowed to join an Assembly, libertine mages invariably make up the majority of their ranks.

    Lorehouses
    The Free Council’s mission to renew the arcane arts can be realized only by the easy exchange of magical discoveries. The Lorehouse system assists that transaction by providing an open storehouse of magical knowledge. This doesn’t always mean it’s easy to get access to a Lorehouse; its controlling cabal dictates any requirements. Some Lorehouses use a free-market model, selling their stock to any mage who can meet the price in hard cash, Mana or barter. Others serve only cabals that profess an ideology acceptable to the Lorehouse’s owners.

    Techné
    The order prefers to call its style of magic techné, a Greek word meaning a skill or art. Techné is not just an application of ancient Atlantean techniques, but a philosophy combining technology, art and culture to produce magic that is relevant in a modern context. While other orders cling to a tradition belonging to an ancient past, the Free Council forges ahead to new horizons.

    Titles and Duties
    Free Council positions are selected democratically and exist to fill a pragmatic rather than ritual role.

    Emissary
    An emissary is a libertine who has been empowered by a Free Council cabal or Assembly to pursue diplomatic aims with mages from other orders. Emissaries are not permitted to espouse any positions or to make any offers that haven’t been voted on by the mages they represent, unless their governing cabal or Assembly grants these powers beforehand. Cabals and Assemblies are, in turn, obligated to seek redress if any harm comes to their emissary.

    Strategos
    In a crisis, Free Council mages may voluntarily suspend their democratic rights to give a strategos the power to make decisions in all areas relevant to his area of expertise. Most strategoi are used to coordinate a libertine group’s defenses, though a few decide upon affairs ranging from sanctum economics to metaphysical debates. Many Assemblies (including virtually all Columns) employ a strategos who is permitted to make decisions that affect all Assembly members. No matter what, the power of a strategos is formally limited to a single subject.

    Syndic
    In regions where Free Council Assemblies hold sway, member cabals select one of their own as a syndic to represent them. Syndics do not make decisions. They debate other syndics and generate proposals on which all members vote. Syndics can acquire considerable clout. Their positions on various matters are normally upheld by their own cabals, if not others, and syndics’ combined ability to render a complex matter down to a vote allows their perspectives to dominate any debate.
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:15 pm

    From your backstory, the following Seemings/Kith appear appropriate (note: The Durance is the time you spent in Arcadia, in the hands of the True Fey, only Kiths from the Core Rules have expanded Durances, those without expanded durances are from the Winter Masques sourcebook, as are the expanded Durances, actually):

    Seeming match 1: DARKLING

    When dealing with matters of Faerie, there are things that a person must do, and things a person must not. This is the foundation of many stories of the Fae, including this one. It begins with a hill, somewhere not far away, and they say that the Invisible Throng congregate there, three times a year. The rules are simple. From sunrise to sunset on that night, the people must not speak of the Invisible Throng, and from sunset to sunrise of that night, they must not leave their homes. Consider the young man of courage and curiosity, who would rather see the faeries for himself. He tells his sweetheart, the sweetest girl in 50 miles, that he wishes to see the faeries that morning, and she recoils in horror, and says that he must not speak of — but it is too late, and she has spoken of them, too. She cries, and says that she will not go with him. And she retires that night with her rosary and she prays. And the young man of courage and curiosity hides at sunset on the mound, in a tree. And he sees them, as they swoop from the sky in their hundreds, and without warning they descend upon the tree and sweep the young man of courage and curiosity away, and the tree with him. And one hour before dawn, the sweetest girl in 50 miles hears the voice of her sweetheart at her window, begging to be let in. She goes to the door and steps outside to embrace him, and she, too, is gone. One day the young man, still of great courage but no longer of great curiosity, will escape. His sweetheart never will. She is theirs forever. Changelings know that their deeds have consequences, but few feel those consequences so keenly as the changelings who are called Darklings. Many were stolen away as the consequence of attracting the attention of the Fae. The Darklings’ obsessive clinging to the solace of the night is the consequence of having been imbued with shadows. Their love of quiet is the consequence of having lived in a world where all was whispering, all was rustling and snapping twigs and creeping fear. The Darklings believe that they found it hardest to escape from the lands of the Fae, because their way back was hidden from them. Of all the changelings, they were lost in an alien landscape, with no reference point to return to, with all paths shrouded in shadow. To escape, they had to be the ones who could survive in the shadows, to thrive there with creeping things and dark things and dead things that move. Having come back, they are the changelings who wait in the shadows.

    Durance: The Darklings’ memories of their time in Faerie are awash with shadowy fears. Vague, hulking forces loomed from the corner of the room. Small skittering things crawled across faces or became momentarily tangled in hair before dissolving. Wet, slithering things moved around in the background. Trapdoors and boarded windows with something behind them figure heavily in dreams of Faerie. Being sent on errands with no point, being forced to copy ancient codices of lore that made no sense while outside things shrieked and fluttered, being made to enter a cellar and being eaten, over and over again, being lost in mazes: all of these things feature heavily in Darkling dreams of Faerie. The dark places of the human world don’t remotely compare.

    Kith: Razorhand — Some Darklings are embodiments of the promise of nighttime violence. They are the sudden slash in the darkest alleys, the gleam of metal under a flickering streetlamp. They may come silently, or whistle tuneless little ditties learned in Arcadia. Some even become skilled practitioners of medicine, though their ministrations are often too unnerving for all but the boldest Lost to seek out. A Razorhand may invoke the Ripper’s Gift: by spending one Glamour, her hand becomes as a knife’s blade for the duration of the scene, allowing her unarmed strikes to inflict +1 lethal damage. In addition, she gains a bonus Melee Specialty (Knives).

    Seeming Match 2: WIZENED

    You know this story: it’s night. A man drives along a lonely country road. He sees lights in the sky. They swoop down, engulf the car. He blacks out. When he comes to, he is driving along that same stretch of road. He’s traveled maybe a quarter of a mile, but his watch says he’s been gone five hours. It’s nearly dawn. When he gets home, his wife notices that he is covered with little scars that look like healed-up burns. He says he’s sore and itchy all over. Over the coming months, the man will begin to recall being taken into a strange circular room, and being experimented on by small, pale, dark-eyed creatures. It’s a classic abduction scenario. Except… the truth is, this man who comes back with all his memories and relationships, he isn’t a man at all. He’s a thing made of sticks and stones, and he doesn’t even know who he isn’t. The real man is still in the clutches of the beings that took him. They’re still doing their experiments. They’re swapping his eyes around. They’re repositioning his internal organs. They’re taking out his hair one strand at a time and slicing off his nose and sewing on a different one. They’re draining his blood out. And all the time he’s conscious. And all the time, each different procedure is turning him into one of them. And worst of all, they are doing it to him for no reason. They’re not learning anything. They’re not even doing it for fun. Whether gray-skinned abductors, childseizing imps, vandal faeries or tin-mine knockers, many of the Fae marry practical talent and industry with undirected, pointless malice. Sometimes they are the sprites and goblins that bring people practical help and material wealth — if placated. But if offended, even only once, even accidentally, these same givers of aid bestow upon their hapless human victims a lifetime of misery. The Lost who were kidnapped by such faeries have endured this strange malice. Trained by unreliable Faerie taskmasters, they have become nimble-fingered. They have become willing, tireless workers. But the spitefulness of their captors infects them. It twists them. It makes them somehow smaller. It diminishes them. This is why, no matter how they look, other changelings recognize them as the Wizened. The Wizened consider their escape from the Fae realm to have been the hardest to effect. The cunning and viciousness of their captors was unmatched. Chained, ensorcelled, threatened, cajoled, tricked, tortured and mocked, the Wizened found their escape a labyrinthine problem that, for many of them, required multiple attempts before they could break free. Many of the Wizened make a point of trying to rise above the malice that made them so small. Many do. Among the changeling Courts, the Wizened often the ones who get their hands dirty. They are the managers of households and the enforcers of etiquette. They are the “honest mechanicals,” who toil to create things beautiful and useful. They are eloquent seers and healers. The paradox of their existence is that their skills place the Wizened in trusted roles within the society of changelings, while at the same time the fact of their origin engenders distrust. The most cheerful, decent and helpful of the Wizened was still made what he was by a being made of spite, and some changelings would believe that it only stands to reason that spite is the legacy they took from their Keepers in Faerie. In the end, this distrust can fulfill itself, as ill will directed against the Wizened inspires resentment in a changeling whose only sin was his deformity.

    Durance: The Wizened bring back disjointed memories of random cruelties, of being the butt of tricks and experiments that seemed hilarious to the Fae, even if they couldn’t appeal to any human sense of humor. Many Wizened dimly recall trying to escape over and over again, each time being outwitted by their spiteful captors, perhaps at times being allowed to think they had escaped before the fact that they were in Faerie all along was revealed.

    Kith 1: Chatelaine — Preternaturally skilled manservants, organizers and house-managers. The Chatelaine’s talent is Perfect Protocol: the changeling gains the benefit of the 9 again rule on all Social Skill rolls which depend on manners, etiquette or proper social practice (such as in a formal ball, a business meeting or a changeling Court), even when using Presence. Further, the player can spend a point of Glamour to gain a +2 dice bonus to Manipulation and Presence dice pools for the rest of the scene.

    Kith-specific Durance: The Chatelaine’s function was often to concern himself with the tasks of administration that grated on a True Fae’s patience. If a Chatelaine’s body was reshaped, it seemed almost an afterthought, that or a means to the end of breaking the changeling’s spirit. Once the Chatelaine’s loyalty seemed sufficient, he was entrusted to keep the keys at some of the most outlandish social functions imaginable. He may have served wriggling things on silver platters to the dancers at an elegant fête, armed his Keeper before a hunt and taken the spoils to the pantry afterwards or overseen the punishment of other changeling servants.

    Kith 2: Soldier — Members of the vast goblin hosts of the Fae, the Soldiers fought strange, inconclusive battles and now find that fighting comes easier to them. The Soldiers’ talent is Blade Lore: living and breathing the lore of the blade, the Soldiers of the goblin hosts find it easy to master any weapon that carries an edge. A Soldier is considered to have a Weaponry specialization with any weapon that carries an edge, no matter what it is. This can’t stack with other specializations the changeling may learn.

    Kith-specific Durance: Only the most senseless of mortal wars can compete with the utter madness of an Arcadian conflict. The Soldier is a veteran of bloody, frenzied battles that lasted for years, all with a purpose no greater than capturing a small yellow flower that caught his Keeper’s fancy when he visited a neighbor’s garden. The battles themselves were often the tortures that remade him. Broken, half torn apart by elf-cannon and balefire, he was dragged back to his mistress’s surgeons and sewn back together in time for the next conflict. Some Soldiers never fought in large-scale battles at all, but were pitted against one another in gladiatorial contests or set to patrol the Keeper’s grounds for threats that could come from any direction.

    Kith 3: Drudge — The lowest and most menial of Wizened, Drudges were given the most unpleasant tasks to perform. They suffered all the privations and modifications of their fellow Wizened, and did not even learn a faerie trade in return. Drudges are the long-suffering inheritors of house elves, domovoi and other such faeries. However, not all had their spirits broken in Arcadia, and some managed to slip away through the Thorns before their negligent Keepers noticed their absence. The Drudge was designed to provide Unseen Labor: by spending a Glamour point, the character may complete any relatively simple task in a fraction of the time, as long as no mortal watches her do so. The task cannot require more than five successes on an extended roll to complete; the Drudge could fix something simple quickly but not repair a badly damaged car. The time required for the task is equal to the original time required divided by the character’s Wyrd +1; even the weakest Drudge can cut a field or clean a house in half the time it would normally take. In addition, the Drudge gains the benefit of the 9 again rule to Stealth rolls; she is easily overlooked.

    Seeming Match 3: OGRE

    The story goes that there was once a troll, a beast who dined on human flesh and carved knife-handles out of the bones. Business was good, and the troll decided that he needed assistance in his workshop. One night, he stole into a village and took away three sons of a shoemaker. The ogre worked the three boys in his workshop, on the drill and lathe and chisel and awl for long hours. Every day, at dawn, he beat them, and he fed them on scraps of raw flesh. One night, the eldest boy took one of the knives he had made for the troll and crept in upon him while he was sleeping. But the knife shrieked out loud and would not kill the troll, and the troll awoke and cooked the boy in a pie and forced each of his brothers to eat a slice, before he beat them so hard that they were all bruises. The second son made a pick so that he could open the lock on the door of the troll’s workshop, and at night he crept to the door and picked the lock. But the troll was waiting behind the door, and he chopped the boy up and cooked him in a stew, and fed it to the youngest son before beating him so hard that his teeth were all broken and his mouth was all blood. The third boy worked so hard and so well in the workshop that the monster could find fewer and fewer reasons to beat him, and the knives the boy made were beautifully carved, and the troll found that he could sell them for more gold than he ever had before. One day, the troll came into the workshop, and he leaned over the boy’s shoulder as the boy carved the knife handle, and the boy pointed out a detail of the carving, and the troll craned closer to look, and quick as lightning the boy turned his hand and stabbed the troll in the eye. And that was the end of the troll. The boy wanted to run away, but he turned back and saw that the workshop was now empty. And he didn’t leave. He ate the troll’s food and slept in the troll’s bed. And now he dines on human flesh, and carves knife handles from the bones. And business is good. One day soon, he will need assistance. The changelings who, for the want of a better term, are called Ogres understand this story, for it informs who they are. They know that abuse sometimes creates abusers, that the victims of brutality can sometimes become brutal themselves. By definition, the Ogres are those changelings who have been shaped by unthinking violence, and brutishness defines them. This is not to say that Ogres can’t be gentle or honorable, or possessed of restraint. It’s just harder for them. They believe that their journey through the Hedge was the hardest of all the changelings because they had to escape from vicious, brutal captors, through locked doors, from chains and manacles, from regular beatings and the fear of beatings. To escape from that, every Ogre inevitably had to become hardened to the violence, and in Faerie, to become hardened to something is often to become that thing. Just as the shoemaker’s youngest son, some changelings defeat their captors only to become them. Most folklore traditions have stories of trolls, hags, giants and flesh-eaters, and the changeling Ogres reflect those, to a certain extent. Their tragedy is often that as they try to escape the violence that made them, they perpetrate it.

    Durance: Ogres’ memories of their time in Faerie are often clearer than those of other changelings. Kidnapped by monsters, the Ogres became monsters. Some were forced to subsist on raw flesh. Some were chained to the hearth and forced to cook for awful masters. Some scrubbed floors until their knees grew scales. Some were made to fight. Some were chained up in dungeons and fattened up for the pot. All were abused in some way, and Ogres sometimes have flashbacks of verbal and physical abuse, brief painful moments where they relive in their heads the impact of a fist or foot, or the sting of a verbal barb.

    Kith: Bloodbrute — Veterans of the fighting pits frequented by jaded Gentry, the Bloodbrutes were kept for one purpose only: to fight for their Keepers’ enjoyment. In some cases, the battles were simple matters of survival, but too many others came with extra rules and conditions born of a fickle Other’s imagination. The Bloodbrute is a master of Improvised Mayhem: by spending a Glamour point, he may rip a suitably sizable object free from its moorings and fashion it into a crude but effective weapon as a standard action. The character can create the equivalent of any weapon from the Melee Weapons Chart (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 170), given appropriate materials at hand. For example, he could craft the equivalent of a great ax by uprooting a stop sign and hastily wrapping the sign into a more effective ax head, but he couldn’t make a spear out of a small nightstand. The item does not suffer any penalties for its improvised nature as long as the Bloodbrute wields it; others suffer a –1 equipment penalty if attempting to use the impromptu implement of destruction.
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:03 pm

    Okay, here are the Courts that might interest you (every Court has a Mantle that you can increase your rating in, gaining increasing bonuses for it):

    DUSK COURT

    Defining emotion: Despair

    Attitude: Defiant fatalism. They know they're screwed, so they intend to go out on a high note, and so exhibit extreme exuberance and enthusiasm, content in being the masters of their own destiny. This is similar to Norse beliefs, i.e. Vikings.

    Cosmetic effect: None. In fact, it cancels out all cosmetic effects from other Courts within five feet, if the person's Mantle rating is equal or less than your own.

    Mantle bonus: Increases your fortitude and physical abilities.

    Contracts: Entropy. Mostly buffs, but the weakest contract destroys the targets ability to communicate, while the strongest can nullify any other active Contract.

    AUTUMN COURT

    Defining emotion: Fear

    Attitude: Subtle and inquisitive. They prefer to outthink opponents and are always on the hunt for more information with which to do it.

    Cosmetic effect (suggestions): You look autumn-y. Plant elementals are most noticeable, as their leaves turn fall colors. For others, occasionally dead leaves will blow past them, even in Spring. Additionally, some overtly sorcerous aspects are noticeable, such as mystical sparkles or otherworldly noises heard around you. At high levels of Mantle, nearby plants will wither as though a cold snap has blown through town.

    Mantle bonus: Boosts Contracts that use the Occult skill, and gives one insight into dealing with Fey creatures.

    Contracts: Fleeting Autumn, Eternal Autumn, and Spellbound Autumn. Fleeting Autumn gives one control over Fear, allowing the Changeling to protect against it or instill it. Eternal Autumn can provide powers in line with the season of Autumn, in order of Contract power, bring food to the ripeness of harvest season, wither plants like the late October chill, cause a foe to be as enervated as nature becomes in Fall, turn into Autumn leaves to avoid danger, or call forth a hailstorm. Spellbound Autumn can manipulate the supernatural, allowing for detection and analysis of magic, communication and command of otherworldly beings, or most dangerous of all, the ability to break a Pledge without penalty (Pledges normally carry heavy penalties and are an integral part of Changeling society).

    WINTER COURT

    Defining emotion: Sorrow

    Attitude: They hide and avoid all things related to the True Fey, and try not to stand out too much in general. Even the few that join groups of other Changelings for various mutual goals will spend much of their time advising caution.

    Cosmetic effect (suggestions): Is noticeable by how nonexistent it is. It makes the area around the Changeling appear more stark. When using Contracts, snow might appear. Plant elementals will likely either have no leaves, or they will be replaced with pine needles.

    Mantle bonus: You become harder to notice and more skilled at Subterfuge.

    Contracts: Fleeting Winter, Eternal Winter, and the Sorrow-Frozen Heart. Fleeting Winter detects, suppresses, and engenders sorrow. Eternal Winter brings the cold to bear by channeling Winter itself, culminating in the power to summon a snowstorm. The Sorrow-Frozen Heart allows you to ignore the effects of pain or injuries or fear, with the penultimate ability allowing you to cause additional damage due to sorrow-born disregard for their well-being, and the top power being capable of transmitting one of the lesser three onto someone else (along with a copy of your soul-crushing sadness, causing some mildly inconvenient side effects*)

    *Side effects are extreme and dangerous when used on a mortal, use only on fellow Changelings. And even then, be careful with it.

    COURT OF THE NORTH

    Defining emotion: Suffering/Detachment

    Attitude: Have nothing to lose. They have no attachments whatsoever, which means there is nothing that the True Fey could take away from them, so most Fey find them less desirable.

    Cosmetic effect: Stark, like Winter's, but with the occasional hint of ash or dust. At higher Mantle, the Changeling will at times exhibit scars and/or bruises that they never had before.

    Mantle bonus: May ignore penalties from deprivation of basic necessities (food/water), eventually reducing penalties from wounds and ultimately being able to use mental fortitude as natural armor once per scene.

    Contracts: Common among all four Directional Courts are the aptly named Contracts of the Directional Courts. These allow one to manipulate movement and location, such as tracking a target, making one's own movements more fluid, destroying a foe's sense of direction, defend an area against intrusion (by causing mystical locking and, if that fails, massive spatial disorientation in the intruder), or even teleport miles by walking through one doorway to come out through another.
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:46 am

    Okay, here's the Karma Meter for Changelings, which replaces the default human Morality:

    Modified Advantage:
    Clarity (Morality)
    Changelings are no longer human, but neither are they fully fae. Upon returning to Earth, most changelings find themselves walking a fine line between two worlds. They cannot deny what they have become, but at the same time, it is their strong connection to this world that allowed them to return, and they feel a need to identify with and be accepted by the world around them. Clarity tracks this delicate balance between the mundane world and the maddening realms of Glamour. A changeling with high Clarity is able to easily distinguish between the two worlds and might even become slightly more adept at spotting supernatural phenomena otherwise hidden from view. By contrast, a changeling with low Clarity finds her perceptions spiraling out of control. She starts having trouble distinguishing her dreams from reality, and starts mixing up elements from the two worlds. She might begin perceiving strange creatures from the Hedge in the ordinary world or incongruously normal fragments of mundane life amid the riot of Faerie. At first these mistaken perceptions are transitory and relatively harmless, but as Clarity slips, they interfere in her life more and more until it is all but impossible to exist sanely in either reality and she is reduced to a mere shell of a being.

    Breaking Points
    Whenever a changeling acts in a way that threatens her Clarity, the psychic turmoil is called a potential breaking point: her actions have threatened to destabilize the delicate balance of her dual existence. A loss of Clarity usually ensues from actions that disrupt a changeling’s ability to think of herself in terms of her human identity as well as her new fae existence. A changeling who commits an act that triggers a breaking point must make a degeneration roll to see if she loses a dot of Clarity. If an act would seem to be described at two different points on the chart, always use the lower of the two ratings to determine the act’s severity. For example, a character decides on an impulse to kidnap a mortal child she sees wandering the woods, an act that would seem to fall under both the “impulsive serious crimes” listed at Clarity 4 and “kidnapping” at Clarity 3. Since Clarity 3 is the lower of the two ratings, it is the rating used to resolve the situation. Starting characters begin with a rating of Clarity 7, to represent the strength of mind and memory that brought them through the Hedge and back into the realm of their birth. However, the world is never exactly what they remembered, and the shock of that realization opens the Lost up to quicker Clarity loss than before. Thus, characters can lose Clarity much more quickly in play than they did during the prelude, with their return being the catalyst. That isn’t to say that all changelings retain a high degree of Clarity during their initial stay in Faerie, of course. It’s just that those who don’t never make it back at all. One theory holds that a changeling is reunited with his severed soul during his escape. The loss of the soul while in Faerie allowed the changeling to endure, but now that the soul is housed once more in the changeling’s body, he is much more vulnerable. This suggestion is controversial among the Lost; it can’t be proved, but neither can it be disproved. Note that Clarity is not quite a system of morals. Acts that trigger a breaking point may be morally reprehensible or not. The true measure is whether or not these acts might awaken psychic traumas that distort the changeling’s perspective, or push the changeling too far down the path of ignoring one of her two distinct selves. Impassioned or impulsive crimes often awaken troubling flashes of the mercurial Others and their ways, for instance. Kidnapping is a particularly dangerous activity for the Lost, as it awakens many a feeling that they would rather keep buried. A failed degeneration roll may also mean that the changeling’s player must make a Clarity roll to resist acquiring a derangement, if the changeling’s Clarity is lower than 8. See the World of Darkness Rulebook, pp. 96–100, for information on derangements. The new derangement is linked to the lost dot of Clarity; the derangement persists until the character recovers the lost dot, regaining her perspective and sufficient Clarity to recover from such a devastating breaking point. Note that a changeling is not immune to breaking points resulting from her being driven to satisfy the needs of her Vice. While changelings are passionate beings, they must still be careful to avoid the temptation to behave in ways that will upset their perspectives, or else the momentary rush gained from indulging their Vices will wind up costing them bitterly.

    Clarity Breaking Points (You must have a Clarity equal to the number next to it for the acts next to them to trigger Breaking Points, lower Clarity lets you perform those acts all you want)

    10 Entering the Hedge. Dreamwalking. Using magic to accomplish a task when it could be achieved just as well without. Minor unexpected life changes.
    (Roll five dice)

    9 Using tokens or other mystical items. Going a day without human contact. Minor selfish acts.
    (Roll five dice)

    8 Breaking mundane promises or commitments, especially to attend to faerie matters. Changing Courts. Injury to another (accidental or otherwise).
    (Roll four dice)

    7 Taking psychotropic drugs. Serious unexpected life changes. Petty theft.
    (Roll four dice)

    6 Revealing your true form to unensorcelled mortals. Going a week without human contact. Obvious displays of magic in front of witnesses. Grand theft (burglary).
    (Roll three dice)

    5 Killing another changeling. Killing a fetch. (Roll
    three dice)

    4 Breaking formal oaths or pledges. Extreme unexpected life changes (pregnancy, losing one’s home, etc.). Impassioned or impulsive serious crimes (manslaughter).
    (Roll three dice)

    3 Actively harming a mortal by ravaging their dreams. Going a month without human contact. Kidnapping. Developing a derangement.*
    (Roll two dice)

    2 Killing a human. Casual/callous crime against other supernaturals (serial murder).
    (Roll two dice)

    1 Spending time in Arcadia. Prolonged or intimate contact with the True Fae. Mortal identity is suddenly and unexpectedly destroyed, totally abandoned or otherwise fundamentally changed. Heinous acts of torture, depravity or perversion.
    (Roll two dice)

    * Does not include derangements brought on by failed degeneration rolls.

    Benefits of Clarity:

    Keen Senses
    A changeling whose Clarity is 8 or higher receives a +2 dice bonus on all rolls related to sensory perception. Changelings with a high Clarity rating are used to paying close attention to their surroundings, and they are highly attentive to even small changes in the world around them. This bonus applies in all realms, even Arcadia.

    Kenning
    Changelings with a strong Clarity rating are so adept at sorting the mystical from the mundane that their ability to spot the telltale signs of supernatural phenomena becomes incredibly sharp. This heightened awareness is most commonly referred to as “kenning.” A player whose character’s Clarity rating is 6 or higher may choose to spend a Willpower point and ask the Storyteller to secretly roll the player’s Clarity to detect the presence of the supernatural in the area.
    Dramatic Failure: A potentially disastrous reading of the situation, as determined by the Storyteller. The character might fail to notice the presence of dangerous supernatural entities, or misidentify a harmless bystander as a powerful mystical being. Alternately, the character might simply suffer from some form of sensory overload that imposes a small penalty and renders this ability useless for the rest of the scene.
    Failure: The character is unable to get a clear impression one way or another.
    Success: Each success reveals the presence of one nearby supernatural being, item or magical effect, assuming there are any present to detect. This will not allow the changeling to detect anything that is being actively concealed with some form of magic — Contracts are required for something like that — but it will allow him to spot supernatural individuals even if they are not engaged in any unusual activity at the time.
    Exceptional Success: As a success, with the added possibility that the changeling gets a hint regarding the true nature of the things detected, and might even become sensitive to the presence of mystically concealed targets. This should not be enough to automatically locate hidden items or individuals, but sufficient to justify the changeling using other powers to detect them or otherwise react to their presence. It should be noted that unless the changeling scores an exceptional success, she may recognize that a particular person is a supernatural being but will not automatically be able to tell exactly what type of creature the person, which means any potential contact is best handled very carefully and discreetly.

    Drawbacks of Clarity
    • As Clarity falls, a changeling begins to have more and more trouble distinguishing between levels of reality, and may even fall prey to hallucinations. The character suffers a cumulative –1 die penalty to Perception rolls for every two points below Clarity 7: thus, –1 at Clarity 5–6, –2 at Clarity 3–4 and –3 at Clarity 1–2.
    • Should a changeling ever descend to Clarity 0, he becomes a hopelessly deluded lunatic and is removed from the player’s control. Most of these unfortunate souls are driven catatonic by their visions, though a dangerous minority become twisted and sadistic agents of their own insanity, working feverishly to carry out all manner of perverse designs. A rare few simply disappear one night, never to be seen again… at least not in the same form.

    Regaining Lost Clarity
    A character who has suffered a loss of Clarity must work hard to regain her former perspective. A changeling’s identity is more fragile than any outward displays of bravado or nonchalance might indicate, and the sensation of losing her grip on the difference between the two worlds she lives in is a terrifying one indeed. Combined with the devastating revelation that she might not know herself as well as she believed, rebuilding her Clarity becomes a long and patient process of seeking out stable reference points to ground her view of reality, as well as acting in ways that rebuild her identity and reinforce her own self-image. Thus, unlike mortals, who may sometimes be awarded Morality dots for penitence or good works, changelings must always spend experience points to raise their Clarity.
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:23 am

    Okay, here's the Morality for Mages, known as Wisdom:

    Modified Advantage:
    Wisdom(Morality)
    The Morality trait for mages is characterized as Wisdom, the ability to balance the needs of this world with a yearning for the higher world. For the Awakened, morality is the quest to attain the Mysteries without perishing in their crucible. Mages who are true to themselves and keep their pledge to the Mysteries can free their souls from the trap of the Fallen World. Those who betray themselves or the Mysteries fall deeper into Endless Night, the maw of the Abyss. The Awakened have seen a glimpse of the Invisible Truth, which makes them what they are. Wisdom is the quality keeping them from mistaking that glimpse as the whole truth. In many ways, Wisdom is acknowledging how much a mage doesn’t understand or know. It’s the drive to keep searching, the ability to remain humble while wielding the power of the gods. Mages failing to comprehend these lessons fall victim to their own hubris.

    Hubris
    When a mage acts against Wisdom, it’s called an “act of hubris,” because the equilibrium of the Tapestry is momentarily obscured by the mage’s own ego. These are also called “acts of blindness,” because a mage is blinded to the repercussions of his desires. Acts of hubris are sins against the Morality of Wisdom. See below for the acts a mage must beware of. In addition, mages are still mortal and must abide by the same moral tenets as any human, as outlined in the various sins against Morality in the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 91. These sins are reproduced on the chart below, to emphasize that they, too, are transgressions against Wisdom. As with all transgressions against Morality, if a mage commits an act of hubris, a degeneration roll must be made for him to see if he loses a dot of Wisdom. Mages feel the tug of their own conscience when they are about the commit an act of hubris. Their arrogance may allow them to overlook it, but the Storyteller should always inform a player when a chosen course of action constitutes an act of hubris for the character, allowing the player to change it if desired. A failed degeneration roll means the mage’s player must also make a Wisdom roll to resist acquiring a derangement. See the World of Darkness Rulebook, pp. 96–100, for information on derangements. The new derangement is linked to the lost dot of Wisdom; it persists until the character recovers the lost dot, regaining his moral center and sufficient Wisdom to overcome the personal flaw.

    Acts of Hubris

    10 Using magic to accomplish a task that could be achieved just as well without it (i.e., boiling tea with Forces instead using the nearby stove). Selfish thoughts.
    (Roll five dice.)

    9 Magically coercing another so that he acts against his own free will (he does not want to perform the actions the magic makes him do). Minor selfish act (withholding charity).
    (Roll five dice.)

    8 Magically coercing another so that he violates his own moral code (i.e., he is forced to make a degeneration roll). Injury to another (accidental or otherwise).
    (Roll four dice.)

    7 Laying a curse on someone. Petty theft (shoplifting).
    (Roll four dice.)

    6 Forcibly binding an unwilling sentient being or spirit to a place (such as through Mind or Spirit magic) or task (such as casting a Fate geas upon a subject). Grand theft (burglary).
    (Roll three dice.)

    5 Magically transforming a person into a lesser being (turning a man into a pig) against his will. Intentional, mass property damage (arson).
    (Roll three dice.)

    4 Using magic to harm someone. Draining another’s Mana against his will. Creating a soul stone (and hence, limiting one’s Gnosis potential; see “Soul Stones,” p. 277). Impassioned crime (manslaughter).
    (Roll three dice.)

    3 Forcefully abducting and/or exiling another person (mage or Sleeper) into the Shadow Realm, or causing her to become possessed by a spirit against her will. Planned crime without using magic (murder).
    (Roll two dice.)

    2 Intentionally preventing an Awakening. Using magic to murder someone. Casual/callous crime (serial murder).
    (Roll two dice.)

    1 Stealing a soul. Utter perversion, heinous act (mass murder).
    (Roll two dice.)

    Effects of Wisdom
    • A mage with a high Wisdom radiates a certain trustworthiness to spiritual beings. A mage with a Wisdom of 9 or 10 gains a +1 bonus on Social rolls when dealing with spirits. Likewise, a mage with low Wisdom exudes perfidy and selfishness. A mage with a Wisdom of 1 or 2 suffers a –1 dice penalty on social rolls when dealing with spirits.
    • A mage with a Wisdom of 9 or 10 gains a +1 dice bonus when contesting or countering the supernatural powers of Abyssal beings. Likewise, a mage with a Wisdom of 1 or 2 suffers a –1 dice penalty when contesting or countering Abyssal powers.
    • Wisdom helps a mage combat the effects of a Paradox. The higher the Wisdom, the lower the Paradox’s duration and the greater the odds that its effect won’t be worsened. See “Paradoxes,” pp. 268-273.
    • Mages with good Wisdom ratings have a better chance of being accepted for apprenticeship by other mages. Most mages spend time watching a prospective pupil before they commit to teaching. They don’t want their power to be misused, so the candidate must display a proper respect for the Mysteries and their use. If a mage should suffer Wisdom degeneration during this time of observation, the teacher might levy a disciplinary practice or task for the pupil to perform before he is allowed to begin his studies. If the pupil had gained a derangement with his Wisdom degeneration, the teacher is within rights to summarily deny apprenticeship.

    Regaining Lost Wisdom
    When Wisdom is lost through degeneration, the mage must struggle to regain his equilibrium. Experience points must be spent to raise his Wisdom. He cannot be awarded a dot for good behavior or moral acts of contrition, unlike Sleepers. Once the Inner Eye of Gnosis has been opened to the Mysteries, the repercussions for one’s actions can no longer be excused through ignorance. The mage’s soul now weighs heavily with the burden of his choices, and the scales of merit — the principle of cosmic Judgment as depicted in the Tarot — can no longer be balanced by naïveté and innocence. The mage makes his own karma; it is no longer rewarded by luck or grace.
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:27 am

    Here's an extremely important list of facts concerning Geniuses:

    The Laws of Mad Science

    "Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, 'But how can it be like that?' because you will get 'down the drain,' into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that."
    -Richard Feynman

    What if every failed theory, every idea that didn't pan out, every forgotten and cast-down concept could live again? Because they do, in the mind of a genius, and they come into the world through the hands of a genius. To one of the Inspired, every failed and aborted idea is a chance to touch the impossible, and by using those broken equations, those contrapositives and ruined fancies, and channeling Mania through them, she can create miracle-machines. Lemurians believe that this proves their theories, and every Lemurian clings to one or more views of the world that gives power to its Inspired believers. Wrapped up in their own brilliance, they see the answers before them, plain as day, and are unable to acknowledge how and why their ideas fail when separated from Mania.

    The Peerage, by contrast, drills its new members in one idea before all others: what a genius does is not real. What a genius thinks when creating a wonder―those strange twisted equations that rain through his mind like confetti―aren't real, they aren't true, and even if they were, the genius has no way of knowing if they are, no external vantage point, neither the capacity nor, ultimately, the desire for objectivity needed to explore the potential truth of such ideas. A peer must learn to use those dead and unborn ideas, rather than be used by them. This is the peers' lesson to their own: mad science is mad, and believing oneself sane is the deepest form of madness.

    Mania is unpredictable and produces what geniuses of a theoretical bent call "non-repeatable phenomena"; events that, while they certainly happened, cannot be repeated in a controlled environment, thwarting all attempts at research. Nonetheless, the Peerage has organized a few laws of mad science that provide general guidelines for what the Inspired encounter. These laws are designed to guide a thinker away from Lemurianism and force him to accept one of the Peerage's most important axioms: that geniuses are fundamentally different from sane scientists, and that attempting to engage in scientific-as-such behavior will lead to Lemurianism and/or madness.

    The Law of Broken Theory (aka Popper's Little Secret)

    Geniuses are not scientists and once a genius catalyzes he will never again do science as he previously understood the practice. His Mania makes that impossible. Geniuses aren't clear what Mania is, but it's clear that the stuff gets into a genius, changing his perspective and disrupting how he relates to the world. In short, it drives him mad. Not the full-on delusional insanity of an unmada or Lemurian, or the alien psychopathy of the Illuminated, but Mania changes a genius enough that he is no longer in sync with the rest of humanity.

    This law comes in strong and weak forms, and different peers favor different interpretations. In the strong form, favored by more traditional or mystically inclined peers, what geniuses do is literally impossible by the laws of this universe. They concern themselves with higher―perhaps transcendent―laws, and by the standards of mundane reality, they are wonder-workers in a literal sense, able to do the impossible.

    Geniuses who favor the weak interpretation, by contrast, say that geniuses' wonders still conform in some sense to the laws of physical reality, but that the corollary conditions of Inspiration still bar a mad scientist from sane research. Science―science as an enterprise, the thing that gave us the atom bomb and penicillin and square watermelons―requires a number of elements for it to function: trust, communication, and skepticism are all vital components. The Inspired struggle with all three, meaning that as a body, geniuses can't engage in "science" as an activity.

    Regardless, it's not as simple as geniuses being regular scientists with unique perspectives. Geniuses deal with non repeatable phenomena and with deep weirdness, and reliable research is extremely difficult for the Inspired. When a genius uses a theory about the universe to build a wonder, her hypothesis might remain internally consistent, but it will also face competition from other hypotheses that are apparently equally valid. For example, let's say a Progenitor builds a healing machine based on her ideas of Orgone Energy. The genius tests the machine, and it 1) works and 2) confirms the genius' hypothesis about how the universe works.

    But then another genius comes along with a device that functions in precisely the same way, but he based it on completely different principles. He's muttering something about "quantized life force." But his principles are also consistent. Neither theory can be falsified with reference to experiments run with the other genius' wonder, yet both theories are, obviously, inadequate to explaining the true nature of the phenomenon, which allows both the Orgone Healer and the Quantized Life Energy Healer to exist. And if the two geniuses reconcile their theories ("seen from a ninth-dimensional perspective, quantized energy looks like Orgone Energy; the transformations become mathematically trivial"), a third genius comes along, and her healing machine uses nanomachines that have no place in either theory...

    The Science Is Science Law (aka the Anticlark Corollary)

    Geniuses can no longer engage in traditional scientific research. Nonetheless, they are not "wizards." They do not do "magic." That is, what they do conforms at least in part to what sane scientists would recognize as the laws of physics, and is not entirely a product of the genius' peculiar internal state. Even geniuses who have a strong interpretation of the Law of Broken Theory recognize that wonders can't just pop into existence, fueled by will and desire. No genius can just wave a magic wand and make wonders happen. Even very old wonders―ones built centuries or millennia ago―function in ways that seem recognizable as technology.

    A flying machine built by a Song Dynasty Taoist who believes in the five Taoist elements will still fly, and it will fly based on modern principles of aerodynamics, even if it also conforms to other, weirder laws. Even if a wonder circumvents or ignores physical laws, such as using some kind of anti-gravity technology to fly, a wonder never flatly ignores the laws of physics. A genius can't just build a wooden bird, dump Mania into it, and expect it to fly because it's "enchanted." The Inspired are miracle-workers, yes, but they're also technologists. There are principles at work behind what a genius does, even if they apparently lack consistency and repeatability, and even if a genius can't figure them out.

    The Black Box Law (aka Goldblum's Diatribe)

    Due to the nature of Inspiration, a genius can never know exactly how even her own wonders work. Her theories might have remained consistent so far, but that doesn't mean that the next experiment or test-flight won't reveal a new glitch that could not possibly have been predicted. When she builds a wonder, a genius deals with principles well beyond anyone's current understanding―possibly beyond anyone's possible comprehension―and this leaves her open to all sorts of baffling and dangerous phenomena.

    This means that geniuses can never be certain of exactly what they are doing. Their ideas might be nonsense that are coincidentally correct this time, under a narrow set of circumstances that the genius has witnessed. Just because a coin comes up heads five times doesn't mean both sides are heads, and with Mania, the same rule applies if the coin comes up heads a million million times. Some geniuses postulate that Mania provides a path-of-least-resistance from the genius to a wonder, allowing the genius to formulate a hypothesis that will get him just far enough to create a functioning wonder, though the hypothesis breaks down immediately upon applying it to other situations.

    The Mere Mortal Law (aka Gilligan's Rule)

    Regular people screw up wonders. No one's sure why this is so, but mere mortals have a near-miraculous ability to damage mad science, destroying it or causing it to run amok. If they get their grubby little hands on a wonder, they'll break it and it will explode or eat them. Geniuses don't know exactly why this happens, but every genius knows that letting a regular person near a wonder is like giving revolvers to monkeys: only hilarious from a safe distance. Scientists (sane ones) are included here as mere mortals, and they can be even worse: a group of trained scientists know just how to fiddle with a wonder in a way that will cause it to break down. This further alienates a genius from regular humanity: she cannot communicate her ideas to her peers, or even show off her creations, without risking disaster.

    Gilligan's Law, coupled with the Black Box Law, explains why a genius can't just build a teleporter and market it for three easy installments of $19.99 on her Website: a mortal who gets his hands on a wonder will break it, and due to the nature of Mania, every mortal who messes around with it will break it in a unique and uniquely horrific way. Attempts to predict what will go wrong are impossible, and will probably just make things worse.

    The Obvious Truth Law (aka Mulder's Lament)

    While mere mortals will screw up a wonder something fierce, there is no cosmic principle or conspiracy at work that relates to wonders or Inspiration. A mere mortal can see a wonder and she will not forget the experience. There is nothing in a wonder that "clouds men's minds" or that will cause them to grow confused. Wonders show up fine on cameras and videos. There are no vast conspiracies to hide the truth from regular mortals. In fact, the vastest conspiracy out there, Lemuria, wants to make regular mortals aware of their brilliance.

    The nature of Inspiration, instead, remains hidden because wonders are not repeatable and testable. A regular scientist who handles a wonder will break it, and if she doesn't break it, she's already well on her way to becoming a genius herself (or at least a beholden). The only results, then, are that a mortal will mess up the wonder (possibly killing herself in the process) or will turn into a beholden or genius and join the ranks of the Inspired, which in turn insulates her from regular people.
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Hat on Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:40 am

    BASICS
    Name: Lanni
    Geist: The Macabre Balloonist
    Virtue: Charity
    Vice: Greed
    Archetype: Bonepicker
    Threshold: The Forgotten

    ATTRIBUTES

    MENTAL
    Intelligence: 2/5 Dots
    Wits: 4/5 Dots
    Resolve: 2/5 Dots

    PHYSICAL
    Strength: 1/5 dots
    Dexterity: 3/5 dots
    Stamina: 2/5 dots

    SOCIAL
    Presence: 3/5 dots
    Manipulation: 2/5 dots
    Composure: 2/5 dots

    HEALTH: 7/12 dots
    WILLPOWER: 4/ 10 dots
    PSYCHE: 1/10 dots
    SYNERGY: 7

    SKILLS

    MENTAL
    Academics 1/5 dots
    Computer: 2/5 dots
    Crafts: 4/5 dots
    Investigation: 2/5 dots (Spec: Deaths) ((Does that work?))
    Medicine: 1/5 dots
    Occult: 2/5 dots (Spec: Ghosts)

    PHYSICAL
    Larceny: 2/5 dots (Spec: Lock Picking)
    Stealth: 2/5 dots

    MENTAL
    Empathy: 2/5 dots
    Intimidation: 1/5 dots
    Persuasion: 2/5 dots
    Subterfuge: 2/5 dots

    MERITS
    [b]Resources: 4/5 dots
    [b]Momento: 3 dot

    Keystone Momento: Broken Pocket Watch
    Threshold: Forgotten
    Keys Pyre-Flame and Industrial

    Charm Momento: Ivory Pistol
    Threshold: Forgotten
    Key: Phantasm
    Numina: That blasty one in the Book of Spirits

    KEYS
    Industrial
    Phantasm

    MANIFESTATIONS
    Boneyard: 2/5 dots
    Curse: 1/5 dots

    Size: 5
    Speed: 9
    Defense: 3
    Armor: Dunno
    Initiative Mod: Dunno
    Experience: 0/0

    BASIC BASIC CRAP
    Age: 23
    DOB: 9/2/87
    First Death: Death By Blue Ice
    Hair: Strawberry Blond
    Eyes: Blue
    Height: 5'5"
    Weight: 130 lb
    Gender: Female

    I barely know how to do this, so tell me what I need to change, okay?


    Last edited by Amosu on Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:40 pm

    Okay, here's Hilarity's dude. Be sure to pass me some feedback, and fill in the last few gaps of characterization:

    Path: Acanthus
    Order: Free Council
    Virtue: Hope
    Vice: Greed

    Strength: 1
    Dexterity: 3
    Stamina: 2

    Intelligence: 3
    Wits: 3
    Resolve: 2

    Presence: 2
    Manipulation: 3
    Composure: 3

    Health: 7
    Willpower: 5
    Gnosis: 1
    Wisdom: 6
    Mana: 6 (10 max, can spend 1 per turn)
    Defense: 3
    Speed: 9
    Initiative mod: 6
    Experience: 1 (5 from reducing Wisdom to 6 from 7, 4 of which were spent on Merit dots)

    Academics 2
    Computer 0
    Crafts 1 (Rote Specialty)
    Investigation 3 [Spellcasting]
    Medicine
    Occult 3 [Spellcasting]
    Politics 1
    Science 1 (Rote Specialty)

    Athletics 2
    Brawl 0
    Drive 0
    Firearms 0
    Larceny 0
    Stealth 2
    Survival 0
    Weaponry 0

    Animal Ken 0
    Empathy 3 [Spellcasting]
    Expression 0
    Intimidation 0
    Persuasion 2 (Rote Specialty)
    Socialize 0
    Streetwise 0
    Subterfuge 2 (Linked to Empathy's specialty)

    (The effects of all Merits and Rotes will be PMed to you)

    High Speech (free with Order membership)
    Interdisciplinary Specialty
    Encyclopedic Knowledge
    Mentor (2 dots)
    Barfly
    Direction Sense

    Rotes:

    The Butterfly Effect
    Instant Gratification
    Nudging Probability
    The Gravity of Instants

    The info I still need from Hilarity is as follows:

    Real Name:
    Shadow Name (Pseudonym you use to hide your real name):
    Nimbus (Magical Fingerprint, see the previous page of this thread for more detailed info):
    Who your Mentor is:
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:30 am

    Here's Wren's stuff:

    Seeming: Wizened
    Kith: Soldier
    Court: Winter
    Virtue: Fortitude
    Vice: Wrath

    Intelligence: 1
    Wits: 2
    Resolve: 3

    Strength: 3
    Dexterity: 3
    Stamina: 2

    Presence: 2
    Manipulation: 2
    Composure: 3

    Health: 7
    Willpower: 6
    Defense: 2
    Initiative mod: 6
    Speed: 11
    Wyrd: 1
    Glamour: 5 (10 max)
    Clarity: 7

    Academics 1 [Fey Matters]
    Crafts 2 [Weapons]
    Occult 2
    Science 2

    Athletics 3
    Brawl 2
    Survival 2
    Weaponry 4 (All bladed weapons count as having a specialty)

    Empathy 2
    Expression 2 [Contracts]

    Mantle 1
    Resources 1
    Quick Draw
    Fighting Style: Iaido (Defensive Light Sword) 2
    Hob Kin

    Contracts:
    Sorrow-Frozen Heart 2
    Hearth 1
    Eternal Winter 1
    Animation 1
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:41 am

    Here's Sun's stats:

    Catalyst: Staunen
    Foundation: Progentors
    Virtue: Justice
    Vice: Pride
    Derangement: Fixation

    Apokalypsi 1
    Automata 1
    Katastrophi 1

    Strength 2
    Dexterity 2
    Stamina 2

    Presence 2
    Manipulation 3
    Composure 2

    Intelligence 3
    Wits 4
    Resolve 2

    Health 7
    Willpower 4
    Inspiration 1
    Mania 5 (Max 10, 5 bound in Wonders)
    Speed 9
    Defense 2
    Initiative mod 4
    Obligation 7

    Academics 1
    Computer 4
    Craft 3
    Science 3

    Drive 1
    Firearms 2
    Weaponry 1

    Intimidation 3
    Persuasion 2
    Subterfuge 2

    Utility Belt 1
    Resources 3
    Kitbasher
    Dumpster Diver

    Wonders:

    Katastrophi 1 Cake gun
    Base damage: 5 Bashing
    Dice pool: Crafts+Firearms
    First time firing during a scene, must pass Manipulation+Computer check or fails to fire, must repeat check until passed

    Katastrophi 1 Cake beam type 1
    Attribute damage: 2 Strength
    Dice pool: Science+Firearms
    Is blocked entirely by wood

    Katastrophi 1 Cake beam type 2 (installed inside type one beam)
    Attribute damage: 2 Dexterity
    Dice pool: Science+Firearms
    Will not work in direct sunlight

    Apokalypsi 1 Goggles
    Accesses data from nearby electronic devices, works as controls for internal computer Wonder
    Always on
    Turns off for 1d10 turns at the sight of blood

    Automata 1 Internal computer
    Is a simple computer, controlled by goggles
    The wonder radiates a sense of "wrongness" that offends all living things. Mortals grow edgy and irritable around the wonder, and animals act fearful or aggressive.
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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

    Post by Mister Awesome on Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:30 am

    Here's the big list of experience costs:

    Changelings

    Attribute=New dots x 5

    Skill=New dots x 3

    Skill Specialty=3

    Goblin Contract=Dots x 3

    Affinity Contract*=New dots x 4

    Non-affinity Contract*=New dots x 6

    Merit=New dots x 2

    Wyrd=New dots x 8

    Clarity=New dots x 3

    Willpower=8 experience points**

    * Determined by the character’s seeming or Court. All changelings have affinity with Contracts of Dream,Hearth, Mirror and Smoke.
    ** Experience points can be spent on Willpower only to restore dots lost through sacrifice or performing
    feats that require such a sacrifice (see “The Ancient Pact,” p. 187).

    Mages

    Attribute=New dots x 5

    Skill=New dots x 3

    Skill Specialty=3

    Ruling Arcana*=New dots x 6

    Common Arcana*=New dots x 7

    Inferior Arcanum*=New dots x 8

    Rote=2 points per dot**

    Merit=New dots x 2

    Gnosis=New dots x 8

    Wisdom=New dots x 3

    Willpower=8 experience points***

    * The categories of Ruling, Common and Inferior are determined by the character’s Path. See “The Laws of Higher Realities,” p. 132.
    ** Rotes are rated by the highest Arcanum dot used, so a Forces 3 rote would cost six experience points to learn.
    *** Experience points can be spent on Willpower only to restore dots lost through sacrifice (such as when a mage creates a new rote, p. 291, or performs some other feat that requires such a sacrifice).

    Sin-Eaters

    Attribute=New Dots x 5

    Skill=New Dots x 3

    Skill Specialty=3

    New Key=10

    Manifestation=New Dots x 6

    Merit=New Dots x 2

    Psyche=New Dots x 8

    Synergy=New Dots x 3

    Willpower=8 (Same restrictions as above)

    Geniuses

    Attribute=New dots x5

    Skill=New dots x3

    Skill Specialty=3

    Merit=New dots x2

    Inspiration=New dots x8 (and a thesis)

    Obligation=New dots x3

    Favored Axiom=New dots x5

    Non-Favored Axiom=New dots x7

    Scholarship=3 (and must qualify; see Fellowships, Page 415)

    Fellowship Syllabus=New dots x4

    Willpower=8 (only to replace lost dots)

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    Re: Lets Learn About: World of Darkness!

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